Here’s another one of my “I have no answers, and maybe there aren’t any, but let’s talk about this” blogs.
The question: If you find something out about an actor/writer/musician that goes against your moral code/politics/religious leanings/beliefs, does it cause you to re-think your support of that person’s movies/books/TV shows/whatever media they’re engaged in?
This is an age of often boundary-less interaction via social media platforms of all kinds. Which can be really cool and really creepy. It allows us to make contact with people all over the world we wouldn’t be able to otherwise, and, in terms of fandom, it allows fans to interact directly with writers, actors, and showrunners, since so many of them are also on social media platforms.
I follow several actors and writers (TV, movie, comics, books) on social media, along with showrunners and producers. I interact with some and, in the case of some actors/showrunners, they interact extensively with fans. As an example of that extensive interaction, I’m thinking here of Wynonna Earp showrunner Emily Andras, show writers, and cast (including actors Tim Rozon, Melanie Scrofano, Kat Barrell, and Dominique Provost-Chalkley). They do it not only on social media, but in real life, too, at fan conventions and other events.
Another actor who interacts with fans (and is also really funny and kind in his interactions) is Chris Evans, best-known for his portrayal of Captain America/Steve Rogers in the Avengers movies. Evans also expresses his views with regard to politics and social justice openly. He skews progressive.
Producer and showrunner Michelle Lovretta (Lost Girl; Killjoys) is another person who is really funny and interacts with fans on social media.
Some actors/celebrities might not interact extensively, but they post quite a bit on social media and they might provide amusing anecdotes and/or inspirational statements of encouragement directed at anybody and everybody. Lindsey Morgan of The 100 is really into wellness, for example, and she posts a lot about that and about self-care on her Instagram account.
Point being, in this age of social media, you’re able to get a sense of the person behind the celebrity, whether they interact with fans or make tons of posts with little interaction. Even if they don’t interact all that much with fans but they do a bunch of posts, you can still see what they’re up to and what they seem to be interested in and what kinds of good works they do, and even their politics if they post that kind of stuff.
So what happens when you find something out about an actor, for example, whose work you’ve admired, but what you find out kind of tarnishes the image you had of that actor?
Do you stop spending money on their movies/stop watching or streaming the TV show(s) they’re in to prevent that network from getting any ratings love from you? Or, in the case of a writer, do you stop buying their books?
If, for example, you find out an actor you really admired has a history of alleged/admitted sexual harassment against fellow actors and staffers on set and off, does that change something for you? Will you continue to support that actor’s movies/roles in the future?
Or how about if you find out a writer whose work you really enjoy has a long history of anti-LGBT statements, and/or misogynist, and/or racist statements? Or perhaps they have a history of saying things that denigrates religious beliefs.
What about if you find out that a musician whose work you’ve enjoyed for years is under investigation by the FBI for sexual misconduct with a minor? And, for the sake of argument, suppose it’s proven this happened.
Do you continue to enjoy watching that person on-screen? Buying their music? Can you separate the art from the artist?
And more importantly, I suppose, should you?
Thoughts to ponder, in this over-information age.
Happy Friday and stop reading this! GET OUTSIDE! 😀