The concept of separating art from the artist is almost guaranteed to expose you to a midst of debates and arguments. Although it isn’t in my place to dictate what you should believe in, I’ve personally noticed a pattern when the majority of the public comes to an agreement that we should separate the two: fame and reputation.
Remember Chris Brown and his physical violence against Rihanna which left her swollen, bleeding, and bruised? Of course you remember. How can anyone forget? It seems to be a part of Brown’s past that will never be forgotten. Yet, the general populace continues to listen to his music. I still find his music agreeable (for the most part) and listen to it myself. But does this make us anti-feminists? Does it mean we’re okay with violence against women? In my perspective, it does not.
But why is it that Brown, against a fury of media press and coverage against his actions, is still very much successful to this day? What is it about him that allows his art to be separated from himself so easily?
In my opinion, the reason why it is so much harder for an established celebrity who has the support of Hollywood, admirers across the world, and good reputation to fall from grace is because of exactly those reasons. People don’t want to conflate the art of an artist if they have been fans of them for such a long period of time. It’s easier for them to acknowledge the shortcomings and mistakes of the artist and move on. In the case for a hypothetical singer who has little to no connections to people in Hollywood, doesn’t have a lot of fans, and doesn’t have an established reputation, I would say it is more difficult for the general public to separate their art from the singer.
By no means is this the case for every well-known artist and it isn’t always the case for a not-so-well-known artist; however, I believe that one’s “popularity” background allows their art to be separated much easier. I don’t inherently think this is a bad thing or a good thing – rather, this pattern just goes to show me how important it is to have connections and reputation before you’re allowed to have a free pass on a mistake and move on from it.
I’d like to think that it’s one strike for the beginners, and they’re out.