Artists' conduct cannot be ignored

Jada Hoffman, Contributor

With many sexual assault allegations arising about numerous people in the entertainment field, a popular question arises: Can I still support them?

Being a fan means you like and support someone’s work and lifestyle.

For example, many people are fans of Oprah because she was able to build an empire after having nothing as a child. If Oprah were to build her empire in an immoral way such as murdering certain people or stealing, her fans would be limited, and she would have little to no support.

This is how fans should react to the artist being credibly accused of sexual assaults, such as rape and molestation. Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey are some of the men who have been credibly accused of engaging in sexual assault.

Cosby’s famous show, “The Cosby Show,” is now off air. Weinstein has been removed from all television shows produced by the Weinstein Company. Spacey was removed from the Netflix show, House of Cards.

Many networks are most likely doing this to ensure their fan base doesn’t decrease, as it would look very bad. However, ethics should be set in place in situations such as this. 

Continuously airing movies and shows of the credibly accused not only increases their wealth, it also makes it appear as though the men and women accusing these celebrities are unimportant and unworthy. 

To show these victims they are truly cared about, everyone should come together and boycott these men.

There are some artists who have yet to been proven guilty, such as R&B singer, R. Kelly. Despite not being proven guilty, multiple allegations have been made against him. A documentary, “Surviving R. Kelly,” was even created, however, he is still considered innocent.

Should his music still be supported? Many struggle to separate his art from his character as he has been considered very influential for the industry. 

After watching the documentary, however, fans have learned that many of his lyrics have subliminal messages about many of the immoral actions he has been accused of engaging in.

In this case, the art cannot be separated from the artist because the artist is incorporating his outside matters into his music. 

Many musicians involve their life experiences in their music, inspiring their fans to overcome some obstacle. When an artist sings about doing inappropriate actions with a minor, it becomes an issue. 

Lewis University students have added their input on the subject including the Black Student Association (BSA). They held a meeting on Thursday, Feb. 7, to cover this very topic.

“Most of us believed that there’s a way to enjoy an artist’s work without them benefiting financially, such as downloading music illegally,” said senior sports management major, Malik Carson. Carson is the public liaison for BSA. 

It is true that great work can be differentiated from bad work and should be treated and appreciated as such. 

However, immoral actions should also be recognized. As fans, we have the power to control the status of a celebrity, whether it’s positive or negative. 

Stop supporting those celebrities who have committed cruel actions against innocent people. Whether they have officially been proven guilty does not mean they deserve anyone’s support more than the victim does.