Lately it seems to be a daily occurrence that someone has been revealed as a monster and we’re all now supposed to hate them. In the world that revolves around celebrities, that creates a minefield of faux pas. If Kevin Spacey is such a bad guy, am I still allowed to like House of Cards? When writers, actors and producers have become the enemy, are we still allowed to consume and enjoy their work?
In an ideal world, we wouldn’t have to make decisions like this. Bad people wouldn’t get work and we wouldn’t have to sift through each Hollywood production to make sure we aren’t watching something that made a bad person money. But we don’t live in an ideal world. As recent news has proven (and as a lot of people seem to already know) a lot of the people we know and admire are less than worthy of that admiration.
So what should we do? We should do our best. Stop watching their shows, stop buying tickets to their movies, demonstrate to the people who make the decisions that these people aren’t going to make them millions of dollars anymore. We should put our money somewhere else. After all, that’s all our eyes and ears mean to Hollywood: each view or listen is another pay cheque.
The problem with continuing to consume the media made by these people — Johnny Depp, Harvey Weinstein, Woody Allen and Kevin Spacey, just to name a few — is that by doing so, we’re telling them that it doesn’t matter. We are telling them that we don’t care what kind of a person they are outside of work as long as they keep making good movies. We’re telling their victims that what happened to them doesn’t matter either. That “tormented artist” trope is getting a little old, isn’t it? We should not continue to support the careers of people who have proven themselves to be monsters.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you if you want to watch House of Cards while it’s still available for you to do so. It’s a good show even if the actual man who plays the main character has more in common with him than we would have liked. And you didn’t know, right? When the show came out and you fell in love with it, nobody knew what kind of person Kevin Spacey was. But consider this: if that man was your worst nightmare, would you want other people to pretend it never happened? It seems no one is safe in this culling off the Hollywood herd. Choose wisely which side you’ll be on.
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