Oldham Sixth Form College


Separating the Art from the Artist

Separating the Art from the Artist

By Rabnawaz Ahmed


When can you separate the art from the artist? Can you still enjoy that artist even if they have done or said horrific things? I bring this question up because it is something I often see online. An example is Kanye West. One of my favourite musicians yet he holds extremely controversial right wing views. Yet should I still listen to him? Another example is basically anyone in Hollywood, Timothee Chalamet as an example. I am very interested in Dune Part 2, but he holds largely controversial views on certain topics, Mark Hamill is another such example. 


So should we stop consuming media because the people involved have stated questionable views? Well, it is debatable and even then, it can depend on the context. I feel like today it is very difficult to consume media made or led by unproblematic individuals. From Roman Polanski, to Michael Jackson, through to even Leonardo DiCaprio, celebrities have always been at the mercy of their deepest darkest secrets being revealed to the public, however, does that then mean that we cancel their whole back catalogue of work - or can we separate the two? Often, what we love is made by problematic individuals. I think unless the money that you give to these people by consuming these products, such as their revenue, is directly harming others, then there shouldn’t be an issue. The problem then arises as it is a very grey area. Because it is very difficult to ascertain where the money made is going to. As such, it is probably a better idea to still consume that media but also be aware of who is making it and in certain circumstances, avoid the media altogether. You can’t really police what others consume but at the same time, it is a good thing to keep people aware about who is making these forms of media and form their own judgement from there.