When Do We Officially Separate Art And Its Moral Value?

Truth is we neglect morality when admiring art and artists. Today, to be ostracized for your moral ground and be rejected by the fans of…

Truth is we neglect morality when admiring art and artists. Today, to be ostracized for your moral ground and be rejected by the fans of your work is extremely difficult. Our music, media, and big and small screens are rampant with racism, misogynistic ideas, and artists who have committed awful crimes against others or the law. So, when do we officially separate art and its moral value?

First example with music, rap to be specific. We hear misogynistic bars and think nothing of it for the beat itself consumes us and rallies us behind the artist. But should this be the case? Should we be holding these artists accountable for the misogynistic lines and ideas and blame them for the state of our society? Though of course there are hundreds of years building up to the way we speak to women, speak about race, and speak on homophobia; yet, these artists who perpetuate the ideals that we as a society are avidly trying to get rid of with movements like Black Lives Matter, or the LGBTQA movement, shouldn’t they be the start or the beginning of the movements? Music, art, and movies are some of the greatest influencers of any society, and in our American way of life, often made to be bigger than life. Which in turn results in us bringing those who produce, act in, and sing the art we consume into a spotlight that you could say is detrimental for both us consumers and them as beings. So, should we be putting more pressure on them to produce art and things for us to consume that align with good moral values, and leave negative stereotypes and poor ideas behind?

I think it would be difficult to completely ostracize any artist or music genre that doesn’t elevate humans to the level of prosperity that we wish to achieve as a society. But, I also think we are not trying hard enough in making sure that we don’t perpetuate the type of language that gives a bad or negative image of another, or denigrates any character. Especially in genres like rap and hip hop, where it seems to be a competition of who can hurt the image of women the most. Often depicted as sexual objects, women tend to be the target for most rappers, and lends itself to a phenomenon that is compatible with a society and that is rampant with rape and assault to women.

And it seems that having more women rappers or more women producing and directing popular videos or movies, is helpful, yet not the answer. It seems to be the genre that thrives in misogynistic ideas and homophobic banter. When will it be enough for society?

Lastly in film, we’ve seen an ever growing movement of women and men speaking out on their famous assailants. The #Metoo movement brings up the same question of morality that rap brings up. When do we stop supporting the art or artist when they’ve over stepped a boundary in the society we want? Of course, there are instances where the law intervenes and brings justice, only after putting the women through more hell. However, there are other instances where there was no retaliation and it is up to us to decide whether we should really be supporting this or that actor after the alleged crime.

So, I want to ask you this, do you want to live in a world where art and artists are hidden behind a veil of protection from society’s moral values, and should their moral compasses be disregarded because of the aesthetic value of their art? Think about this question next time you listen to an artist who promotes awful ideas on women, and artists who believe slavery was a choice.

By: Ambar Paredes

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