An insight on how we perceive art

I love sitcoms, to be honest, anything that moves my funny bones. I love the office and It's always sunny in Philadelphia but sometimes I just need that old-fashioned laugh track playing in the background; that random applause, those energetic shouts, it just makes the experience more wholesome.

Two and a Half Men

I love Two and a Half Men, the chemistry between Alan, Charlie and Jake is amazing even their maid Berta steals the show. The show ran from 2003- 2015 and Charlie Sheen was one of the highest-paid men on television.

On 2008, during their custody battle, a video surfaced on the internet where he made crass comments toward his wife Denise Richards. These comments were made toward her body and on top of that, he used a racial slur. He used the term "F*****G N****r".

Now this is an ordeal, should I keep watching the show and enjoy the content or shall I stand against his actions and stop being an avid consumer of his content. Even after his controversies, the propelled to success and his career wasn't hampered.

Separating art from the artist refers to a debate; about whether art should be scrutinized and ostracized for the actions of the artist. I personally believe that art should not be separated because it is the artist's footprint on modern culture and it shouldn't be disgraced because of the actions of an individual but again there have been circumstances where the ideology might not be accurate.

An artist is defined by the legacy he/she leaves behind. We will take the example of OJ Simpson, he was the football running back in the National Football League(NFL) and is widely regarded as one of the best football players to ever exist.

OJ Simpson during his Courtroom Verdict

In 1994, Simpson was arrested and charged with the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman. His murder trial was highly publicized and his court proceeding was even broadcasted on national television for everyone to see.

The case was fought by his lawyers from the racism point of view, and the verdict was announced as not guilty, but he is still considered the culprit behind the murders. He was no longer hailed as a hero and was ostracized by his friends and peers.

Cancel culture is a method of ostracizing someone through the platform of social media. Cancel culture and the separation of art from the artist go hand -in hand. The most prominent example of cancel culture is Johnny Depp.

Johnny Depp was accused of abuse by Amber Heard

In our society women are subjected to domestic violence and abuse, Amber Heard filed for divorce in May 2016. She accused Depp of verbal and physical abuse under the influence of drugs and alcohol. She accused him of being angry, and manipulative and claimed he had anger issues.

After these comments surfaced, a man who was world-renowned for being one of the most prolific actors was suddenly canceled and petitions were filed against his movies, instead of viewing them as a piece of art people profiled him and he was branded as a "wife-beater".

Around that time his movies turned out to be box office bombs and people weren't able to separate the human being from his art. After excessive media scrutiny, Johnny Depp filed a defamation case against Amber heard on February 2019.

on 1st June 2022 the verdict was announced in favor of Johnny Depp. He won the case and in his closing statement. Johnny Depp was a victim of cancel culture and because of this, he lost multiple film offers and also recognition and respect from his peers.

Collage of artist who were separated from their art
Collage of artists who were separated from their art

I believe that if an artist commits a heinous crime or act he/she must be prosecuted but the art should be conserved. Being an artist involves being a person of patience and principle. Art is a figment of popular culture and erasing it is like eradicating a major portion of history.

I know Bill Cosby is guilty but should I stop watching the Cosby Show, should I stop listening to Micheal Jackson after the allegations and should I stop watching Will smith movies after the Oscar debacle.

In my opinion no! I am happy with the judicial system for prosecuting Bill and I'm glad Will smith is banned from the Oscars but their legacy cannot be erased because of incidents. 

Cosby Show was the biggest show of the '80s which was led by an African American. The show broke multiple racial stereotypes and  It opened doors for African- American artists.

Separating art from the artist depends on the belief system of the consumer. It's up to you to deduce whether you should consume art or not and it is up to you to make choices regarding the type of content consumed.

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