A Letter from the Editors

Jamie Doo and Phoebe Lai, Editors-in-Chief

With the constant swarm of controversy surrounding famous musicians, actors, and authors, many question whether it’s possible to separate the artist from his or her work. No one is safe. Recently, even beloved childhood writers like J.K Rowling have faced backlash from loyal fans. 

In most cases, especially with situations that have hurt innocent individuals, it is impossible to separate celebrities from their work. 

Rather than dismissing these incidents, it’s the role of a consumer to be cautious of who they idolize and respect.

There are far too many incidences in which the reputation of a celebrity has been tarnished, whether it be through unfavorable or illicit acts. 

Most of the outrage is orchestrated through social media, an echo chamber where these stars are only seen in an extreme light: morally right, or completely evil. 

There are a number of artists who are known for committing illegal acts, expressing deliberate and conspicuous hatred and abuse towards others. 

Chris Brown has been under constant fire for his mistreatment of his girlfriends, acts of homophobia, and physical harassment. 

In these cases, where a clear legal boundary has been crossed, it makes sense for fans to cease their devotion to these personalities. 

Mark Wahlberg has also made himself an example of a person whose crimes have been dismissed by fame and popularity. Wahlberg is no stranger to serving time in jail, as he was convicted for an attempt of a racially-motivated murder of two Asian men, which preceded his assault of African-American children in his teenage years. 

The Ted actor barely served over a month in jail, and most people have since either forgotten or pardoned his racist background. 

As art is not truly objective, seeing as art can be described as an expression of oneself and one’s beliefs, it is not an easy feat to separate the artist from the art. 

A “consumer” supporting the artist beyond the screen is often not enough to justify the praise of that artist’s work. 

The praise of artists who have committed an unjust act undeservedly benefits them. 

In this digital world, it seems impossible to avoid supporting celebrities, especially those who are famous and well-known. Even just avoiding videos with problematic YouTube stars, or abstaining from purchasing a brand sponsored by certain individuals can reduce the star’s influence.   

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to connect and interact with famous stars. Ultimately, stars are also flawed people, and their work will reflect as such. But, it’s important to be aware of the artists we praise, and make sure they align with both our moral values and rights under judicial law.