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Should we consume the art or products of people accused of sexual abuse? Show more Show less
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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 the art is separate from the artist Show more Show less

We consume art because we appreciate the value of the art or the product itself, not because we like the artist. Most of the time, when people consume arts or products, they don't even know the people who have produced them.
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Sexual abuse accusations are often unconfirmed

Many of the artists currently being boycotted were simply accused of sexual assault but haven't yet gone through the court system and been found guilty of sexual assault. People are innocent until proven guilty, so it is too early to start boycotting them.

The Argument

The social media code of justice is often quick to jump to conclusions and follow bandwagon stories that have very little grounding in truth. The accessible, sensational nature of social media also makes it incredibly hard to fact check everything that is said on there. Boycotting an artist would ruin their entire career. It means that they cannot make money, which also means that they cannot work on new projects. Rumors also take a very long time to quell. Therefore, people should be sure of the truth of accusations before they jump on it and take action.[1]

Counter arguments

The ultimate truth often takes a long time to come out. Regardless, it will always be better to have sided with the potential victim than to have sided with a potential rapist. To not make a change and continue the status quo as a consumer is a decision in and of itself. It is not to continue to do nothing. It is to actively discount the accusations of the victim and choose to believe the perpetrator more. That is unacceptable, given how grave an issue like sexual abuse is.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] People are innocent until proven guilty. [P2] It is unfair to prematurely boycott an artist before we know their guilt for sure.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] To not do anything is to make a premature decision to side with the rapist.

References

  1. https://thedepauw.com/jump-conclusions-jump-off-cliff/
This page was last edited on Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020 at 03:26 UTC

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