So, I read this post from Neil Gaiman (love him!) where he answered questions from readers. I found the last one especially intriguing. The person asked what Mr. Gaiman does when he likes an author’s stories but realizes the author has some heinous beliefs. Now, I have had this conundrum before. One case in particular was an actress that I was a big fan of until I heard her political beliefs and repeatedly saw examples of her making fun of her fans. I almost felt betrayed, so I was interested in Neil Gaiman’s answer.
He answered like this: “The art isn’t the artist, the poem isn’t the poet; trust the tale, not the teller.” I like this answer because beautiful things can come out of even the darkest places. Even someone who seems completely evil can make you think about life, and isn’t that the point of most art?.
I agree that you can read/listen/watch something created by someone you disagree with. However, at what point does that mean you are supporting the beliefs you disagree with? If you buy paintings from an artist that supports seal clubbing (not this), you might be contributing the funds that that artist needs to pay for his seal clubbing habit.
Thinking about my original example of the actress, I think that I can like her acting without liking her. Originally, I would read articles about her when I came across them and things like that. However, knowing that she’s not a huge fan of her fans, I think that I definitely have consumed her celebrity less (that sounds weird). I’ll watch shows that she’s in, and heaven knows that the original show I loved her in is still amazing (off the air, but awesome)!!
Luckily, author-wise, all of my favorites either subscribe to similar beliefs as me or don’t get into politics for fear of alienating people, as I’ve tried to do in this post. Because even more so than with movies and acting, I feel like authors reach into my soul. However, that’s not to say that if someone with weird beliefs wrote something that I wouldn’t read it. However, I would probably check it out of the library.
Anyway, fun news! I had one of my reviews on No Flying, No Tights linked on School Library Journal!! I’m super excited and needed to brag.