After concluding that an artist you admire has committed heinous crimes, should you continue to enjoy his work? Does the character of the creator affect the quality of the piece? Should real value be denied on account of the associated ugliness?
For many, the answers to these questions may never be overtly stated. But they are demonstrated through action. For example, Woody Allen continues to enjoy status as a revered working director in Hollywood despite compelling evidence that he sexually assaulted his own daughter. Allen’s son, Ronan Farrow, writes of the situation at The Hollywood Reporter:
Tonight, the Cannes Film Festival kicks off with a new Woody Allen film. There will be press conferences and a red-carpet walk by my father and his wife (my sister). He’ll have his stars at his side — Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively, Steve Carell, Jesse Eisenberg. They can trust that the press won’t ask them the tough questions. It’s not the time, it’s not the place, it’s just not done.
That kind of silence isn’t just wrong. It’s dangerous. It sends a message to victims that it’s not worth the anguish of coming forward. It sends a message about who we are as a society, what we’ll overlook, who we’ll ignore, who matters and who doesn’t.
Does Allen deserve to be ostracized on account of his daughter’s unconfirmed allegations? Is there a threshold past which such allegations should lead consumers and business partners to shun the accused, as Bill Cosby has been shunned?