Essay on Moral Authority of Artists

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Wesleyan University
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Artists are revered by most members of society. Children grow up singing along to the lyrics of musicians music to the extent that they how to walk in their shoes when they grow older. Parents, on the other hand, often watch certain movies with their children, point out one or two characters exhibited by an actor, and ask their children to borrow a leaf from them. Comedians bring joy to most households, and it is common to find folks gathered around a TV-set awaiting their favorite comic show. Such is the importance of artists. With such importance, one is expected to live up to certain standards. Artists are in the limelight, and any negative publicity that they may attract due to their actions is detrimental, not only to their career but also to their personal image. The work of an artist should be discredited if they engage in indecent indiscretions.

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Ethical codes of conduct are clearly outlined to guide employees onto the right path, and the film industry should not be an exception to the rule. When artists choose their profession, they are well aware that they are in the limelight. It is up to them to be responsible for their actions whenever they err, like anyone else. When their indiscrete indiscretions are publicly broadcasted on all media platforms, it is only prudent that they take a back seat in all the other aspects of their lives. It would be ironical to praise a film in which the main character is wanted for murder. Casey Affleck is an example of an actor who failed to realize that word about his actions would eventually reach the public. Having been accused of sexual harassment in two instances, it is possible that he committed the crime the second time upon the realization that he got away with it the first time. One cannot ignore the fact that the film industry is a little lenient on actors, like Casey, who despite their misconduct continue featuring in movies and films. The moment complaints about Casey reached the filmmaker for the first time; he should have relieved him of his duties without further ado. It would help to prevent a repeat of the sexual violation. What is appalling is the fact that Afflecks performance in the film in which he had allegedly sexually harassed some of the female artists was unanimously endorsed (Gay, Roxane). When these allegations arose, the film-making process should have been discontinued. Doing away with the entire artists work will be a lesson to all the others who collaborated with him at any level; this way they will keep their lives and actions in check. The morals of a society cannot be compromised so as to save a few individuals. It is, therefore, impossible to separate artists from their work.

It is evident that Actors work involves not only starring in movies and films but also making public appearances and going on roadshows to publicize and promote their work. These roadshows present them with an array of places that they can visit. For instance, some go to churches, while others go to schools and other public places. Since actors visit public places, they should have the to address an audience. Consider the case of Nate Parker, a talented player, wrestler, and director, who was accused of raping a young lady whom he schooled. The girl eventually committed suicide after battling with depression. Needless to say, Parker was acquitted, and he proceeded with his daily activities and became more famous than he was before (Gay, Roxane). Casey Affleck, a renowned actor, on the other hand, was accused of sexual harassment and he is evidently making a comeback. A sober analysis of such cases spells doom for the society. When such characters are allowed to speak to students, the message that rapists and sexual predators are great people in the community will be embedded in the young peoples minds for the rest of their lives. When they keep on appearing on television screens and winning Oscars, the society consents to the idea that it is more important for the producers to make millions from films whose main characters are the sexual predators (Sims, David). The message is that accusations leveled against a celebrity equal fame. The necessary action, in both cases, should have been to ban all movies that the two featured in and barred them from being in any other while they faced trial.

In all incidents, the victims of these cases bear the brunt. According to Maltz, victims of sexual assault feel ashamed to talk about their past experiences (45). Their situation is worsened whenever they see the perpetrator, and this can stall their recovery process. Society, especially through the media, is not making things any easier for the victims of some of the artists who have been accused of sexual harassment and rape. When the media persistently invites individuals like Nate Parker for interviews, and keep on asking them to tell their side of the story, they are given an opportunity to sanctify themselves of their evil deeds. So dire is the need to do the latter that Nate once showed up for an interview with his daughter as though to solicit for sympathy from viewers who would then pardon him. When Bill Cosbys victims view footage of him being arraigned in court, they possibly see a perpetrator of injustice while the audience is still stuck at his alter ego: Cliff Huxtable. In The Cosby Show,' viewers associated Bill with fun. He was a good father to his daughter, and it may be impossible to believe that he would eventually assault a lady who qualified to be his daughter (Swarns, Rachel). Consider also Woody Allen, a comedian in an equal capacity as Bill Cosby. He was accused of sexually assaulting his foster daughter. His fans could hardly differentiate between the sexual predator and the man who made them giggle whenever he showed up on their screens. It is taxing for viewers to think of Bill or Allen in the light of a sexual offender, hence the proof that one cannot separate an artist from his art.

Present day actions define the future of any society. If people bury their heads in the sand whenever there is need to address an indiscretion, the perpetrators are encouraged. The media should desist from participating in the glorification of evil and instead emphasize on the paramount importance of upholding societal moral values. Artists should realize that they cause collateral damage whenever they preach water and drink wine. They, therefore, should not be separated from their art in the light of past indecent indiscretions.

Works Cited

Gay, Roxane. "Nate Parker And The Limits Of Empathy". Nytimes.Com, 2017,, Wendy. The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse. New York, NY: William Morrow, 2012. Print.

Sims, David. "Why The Allegations Against Casey Affleck Should Stand Alone". The Atlantic, 2017,

Swarns, Rachel. "Trying To Separate Bill Cosby From Cliff Huxtable". Nytimes.Com, 2017,

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