argument top image

Should we consume the art or products of people accused of sexual abuse? Show more Show less
Back to question

With the rise of the #MeToo movement, more and more victims of sexual assault have come forward accusing prominent figures. From Harvey Weinstein to Michael Jackson to R. Kelly, consumers of art are now faced with an important moral question: should we continue to consume the art of immoral people?

Yes, because we can't change anything anyways Show more Show less

An individual consumer's choices don't actually matter in the marketplace of ideas insofar as the fans and supporters of the artist will continue purchasing their products. So, they might as well continue watching movies and listening to music that they like, given that the status quo won't change anyways.
< (2 of 4) Next position >

Fans of the artist will consume the art anyways

Many of the artists accused are very famous and important figures in the art industry with large fanbases. Even if normal consumers boycotted the artist, it wouldn't make a difference because the fans would still be there anyways

The Argument

At his peak, Michael Jackson had over 6 million fans. Although some bystanders occasionally bought a few albums here and there and participated in streaming his songs, the majority of his sales came from his incredibly dedicated fanbase.[1] This also happens to be the same fanbase that, even when allegations against Jackson came out, rushed to defend his actions and continued to stream his music.[2] One individual consumer is an insignificant speck in this sea of consumers, and regardless of whether or not that consumer chooses to continue consuming the art, the artist and their legacy will still survive through their fans. Therefore, if someone enjoys music or a movie or a book, they might as well listen to it, as it doesn't make a difference for the artist anyways. The consumer should just consume what they enjoy and stop worrying about all of these external factors.

Counter arguments

Boycotting is not just about physically stripping the artist of their material income, it is also an awareness campaign. When #WeinsteinIsOverParty trends on Twitter, people can see it and explore the page, seeing the accusations that have been made upon him. A mass movement allows people to participate, incentivizing people to learn more about important issues like sexual assault. This will erode their fanbase eventually, because not all fans are just fanatically blind supporters of the artist. When they see public opinion turn on them, when they continuously learn more about everything bad that their idol has done, they could still see the artist in a new light and change their opinions. Michael Jackson fans aren’t fans forever, but they are human forever.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] The prominent figures accused of sexual assault often have huge fanbases [P2] Consumers should just enjoy what they want to enjoy, and not worry about making a difference, because they can't

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Fans can change based on public opinion [Rejecting P2] The difference made is not just in material sales, but in awareness about the artist

References

  1. https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/MichaelJackson/story?id=8006916&page=1
  2. https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-47499076
This page was last edited on Wednesday, 11 Nov 2020 at 14:36 UTC

Explore related arguments