If You Find An Author / Director is Morally Corrupt, Do You Still Continue Buying / Watching Their Work?


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    I saw on ResetEra that a director of the anime version of Recovery Of An MMO Junkie posted his anti-Semitic thoughts and liked anti-Semitic posts on social media (Holocaust Denial stuff?).

    Recovery of an MMO Junkie Director Causes Controversy With Anti-Semitic Tweets http://po.st/33hoDu via @po_st

    If you find out a creator is morally reprehensible, do you stop consuming their media?


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    Not if all they did was say some things and like some stuff. I feel people are entitled to their opinions, even if I dislike them. Otherwise, I'd never enjoy any media because almost all people would be defined as "morally reprehensible" by my standards. Humans are disgusting creatures when you dig deeply enough.



  • Nope. I'll just consume whatever is interesting regardless of the character of the creator. If I didn't use something because someone was evil, I wouldn't be able to use anything in the world. Just look at the real world and you'll see that CEOs of many big companies are straight up evil in how the nickel and dime the fuck out of consumers and constantly push the boundaries of the laws.


  • Member

    If I find out he's using his wealth to, I don't know, fund terrorism, I would try not to send any money his way, but people are allowed to think "this creation is enjoyable, but the person who created it is a scumbag, and I don't have to feel bad about enjoying his work."


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    @flarecde said in If You Find An Author / Director is Morally Corrupt, Do You Still Continue Buying / Watching Their Work?:

    Not if all they did was say some things and like some stuff.

    While I don't know that I'd encourage to outright stop consuming the products (though I won't be rewatching MMO Junkie again because I've seen it), liking and saying stuff about this sort of propoganda can be worse than just mere words. It can influence youths to believe in that kind of propoganda because the creative mind they like does. In the worst case scenario, this can lead to the furthering of recruitment for evil movements in reality. At the very least, the kind of denial seen here can lead to the furthering of "denial" culture that seems popular right now (Flat Earthers and other science denial). A culture of people denying history / science are doomed to repeat their mistakes.

    I don't know enough about the creators of most of the Japanese work I read to unfollow them (or follow them to begin with), and maybe that's a good thing. But if I find out the creator of a work is reprehensible, like the Ruroni Kenshin mangaka or film director Roman Polanski, I don't want to go out of my way to consume their work at the least. I don't know who directs most of the anime work I watch, so unless I see it on social media, I probably won't know to avoid it.

    Again, there are certainly other entities involved in the creation, production, packaging, and release of these products that you're hurting if you boycott a product... But if it's hurting some others in the short term to make it clear you don't want a product from an "evil" person to effect long-term change, I think it can be worth it for an individual.


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    Don't study any history because it is replete with creators who would fit your definition of morally reprehensible... you'd have to throw away half of the classics of literature, music and art -- much of which inspired alot of what is popular in the world today.

    I draw a clear line:

    If the creation itself has a bad message then, I don't care if the creator is a great person, I will not support it -- Likewise, if the creation itself does not have a bad message, I don't really care if the creator is an idiot in real life.

    And yes, I would quantify this guy as a total idiot -- he isn't harming anyone... so the best you can say is he holds a collection of willfully ignorant lies to be truth. He is stupid with a capital "S" -- but stupid people are everywhere.

    To be honest I don't find what he is saying to be much worse than the millennial idiots you see all over the USA who claim that Communism is a great thing and people have it better in Communist countries... never mind the massive deaths this political system has directly caused is in excess of a hundred million (and counting -- thanks Venezuela for keeping the murderous killing of the masses going in the name of "equity") . Really, the Nazis were absolutely murderous scumbags -- but the Communists were 10x worse (literally, do the math) and for some reason nobody seems to care much about that.


  • Member

    @terrence said in If You Find An Author / Director is Morally Corrupt, Do You Still Continue Buying / Watching Their Work?:

    Again, there are certainly other entities involved in the creation, production, packaging, and release of these products that you're hurting if you boycott a product... But if it's hurting some others in the short term to make it clear you don't want a product from an "evil" person to effect long-term change, I think it can be worth it for an individual.

    The problem with this way of thinking is that, realistically, the most your boycott will affect is the lives of the people who are just doing their jobs and aren't really involved with the questionable people you dislike, or don't have the financial leeway to quit a job on moral standing. The director will still get hired to do big projects as long as they have moneymaking potential.

    If you really want to do something about people with extreme opinions/histories you dislike, I think it would be more productive to raise awareness about those topics and make sure as many people know about them as possible. The idea is you want to make their association with that topic so undesirable that it directly affects their ability to make money for investors.

    Basically, the unfortunate truth is that a lot of the world either does not have the freedom or privilege to indulge in morals, or they simply lack them altogether. In that respect, taking a certain stance and hoping that someone will interpret your data points, or lack thereof, as being morally driven is kind of missing the big picture and just results in minor levels of self-satisfaction at the cost of denying yourself minor levels of entertainment.


  • Premium Member

    I generally don't boycott works because I disagree with someone's politics, but I find I enjoy the work less if I know someone is "Morally corrupt" - I inevitably read 'tone' where there may be none, and I don't read /consume/watch art that I don't enjoy. If I know someone is an evil doer before I read/watch, it certainly sways my opinion. (there is so much out there - why start something that already has 'demerits'?)

    of course if the WORK is morally corrupt - no thank you, I can read something else.


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    @jason-maranto if your using the governments that label themselves as communists, but don't actually have a communist government as a basis for "communists". Then ya communism sucks. But a government that runs an actual communist system without preference to anyone and true equality. It's not such a bad thing. That will not exist anytime soon, Because big businesses.


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    Interesting topic! I genuinely try to send my money in directions I believe are generally benign and so would stop buying something if the creator is a creep, but that’s an issue of personal morality and I do believe that genuinely great messages have come from terrible people (I loved Orson Scott Card’s “Speaker of the Dead” and found it a truly human novel, but the guy himself would have dissuaded me from reading it if I’d known more about him beforehand) and I understand I do miss out of some great art as a result. It’s like the movie Amadeus, the nice people don’t always make the great art... That’s the cost of my choice and I fully accept it, but don’t begrudge people who choose differently.

    A recent example: I’m a yoga teacher and read lot so of yoga stuff and recently read some material I liked by a guy named Kriyananda. He had some interesting ideas but after spending an insomniatic night reading depositions of numerous women he allegedly assaulted, I returned the audiobook I’d just ordered and plan never to read him again.

    Didn’t know about the Kenshin guy. Next night I can’t sleep, I’ll keep myself up further by reading about it.


  • Premium Member

    In some cases the actions of an individual has poisoned my interest in their work but I do not seek out reasons to not enjoy a work that I had otherwise been enjoying as I don't want to lose out for their failings. In this case the statements of the Director certainly haven't made me more inclined to rewatch the show which was mediocre.

    I think there is a distinction between (a) taking part in an organised and targeted boycott with a clearly articulated and achievable rationale of bringing about a positive change of policy or behaviour, (b) withholding financial support to a company or individual who poses an exceptional threat to society or the environment, (c) avoiding an artistic work because one of the individuals involved is somehow reprehensible, and (d) avoiding a work because an element of the work or some other factor has soured or is expected to sour your enjoyment of it.

    I find it easier to advocate for (a) and (b) but see (c) as more of grey area, especially when the reprehensible person is only one of many who worked on a given project. For any big budget artist work I expect that if I dug deep enough I could find at least one person involved in the endeavour who had said or done something a bit iffy at some point in their life. As has been said, privately not buying a work does not always send a clear enough signal to investors and decision-makers as to why you are not buying it. That said, in terms of (d), if I knew the artist force behind a project held some sickening or especially misguided views then I would consider avoiding their work simply because it would distract me from my enjoyment of the work and because if their thinking was clouded by prejudice then that could be expected to diminish their ability to create a good product.

    On the topic of whether publicly saying misguided things can be harmful then I think it can be. How best to react to prejudice and denialism and so forth is a valid topic of discussion.


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    @terrence

    This is a difficult topic.

    Maybe it could be a case of "you enjoy the work, but not necessarily the person who made it"? Scott Freeman was an anime dub actor who had some decent roles, who eventually was arrested for the same thing as the Rurouni Kenshin guy. Have I refused to watch anything Scott has ever been in? No, I haven't. But it's not like Funimation will go back and redub all his parts, they just stopped working with him.

    That being said, there are certain channels I have unsubbed from on YouTube because the person, despite how they act on their show, is not very nice.

    This is a very good discussion to have.



  • For me I don’t really care if it’s personal opinion of said creator but if it’s like @myskaros said and funds terrorism/illegal stuff in general that harms others I would probably stop. That’s assuming I knew.


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    @hansolo1300 said in If You Find An Author / Director is Morally Corrupt, Do You Still Continue Buying / Watching Their Work?:

    @jason-maranto if your using the governments that label themselves as communists, but don't actually have a communist government as a basis for "communists". Then ya communism sucks. But a government that runs an actual communist system without preference to anyone and true equality. It's not such a bad thing. That will not exist anytime soon, Because big businesses.

    What you are dreaming of can never happen. Tyranny is the only way to enforce "equity" (equality of outcome) -- the very core concept of Marxism is diametrically opposed to personal liberty, personal choice and rewarding of competence. Implementing it always results in stripping humans of liberty, choice and accomplishment. But yeah, besides that it's great... oh wait, I forgot the "bonuses" of mass starvation, oppression of all rights and death.

    What you think of as "bugs" in Communism are really features... as in this is "by design" or "not accidental" -- this is why they always appear.


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    @ren-chan

    "But it's not like Funimation will go back and redub all his parts, they just stopped working with him."
    

    That is a great example of HOW this is supposed to work! Funimation stopped working with him, I continue to support Funimation because they did the right thing. I don't have to stop watching. Now the original question was a little different (author/director being the culprit not a voice actor) which makes taking action a different situation (switching from dubs to subs on hulu still rewards the creator, but not the same voice actors)

    Nuance is always difficult. This is not a situation where clear cut yes/no applies (this isn't a criticism of Terrance's response- I just happen to be in this thread) Does the creator's views poison the work? for example if I found out a hypothetical author was a convicted pedophile I would NOT be interested in reading his work "My Little Sister..." But if a creator has views that differ from mine politically that's not enough- I'll still watch GATE even though I know the author is very Hawkish and I am not. There's a whole bunch of degrees in between.


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    @jason-maranto

    Marxist communism works great - in communes, among religious orders (monasteries) and the like. As far as I know, every case where it works: People enter voluntarily as adults, and these are communities inside of a larger culture that supports them (not entirely self sufficient) There may be something about scale as well, but the "ideal" of communism has never worked for nations long term- and historically has been used as a tool for tyrants not a means to benefit the masses.


  • Premium Member

    My answer: it depends.

    Examples from news in the past few years: I am not happy with MMO Junkie's director. But I can still watch it 'cause the other people involved, including the writer, aren't coming out as horrible Nazis and it's not 'his' work.

    Conversely, I have not been able to read Rurouni Kenshin (and I own it all) since the actual author was arrested for having child porn. It actively ruins the work for me.

    It's emotional, but there you are.


  • Premium Member

    @jason-maranto like I said it won't happen anytime soon because of attachments to rewards for personal accomplishment and other general attitudes of capitalism that don't comply with communism. People have to voluntarily move past that and accept it. There is too much propaganda out there saying communism is inherently bad which people have gobbled up. I might of summed it up a little too quickly last time but the main reason for all those things I just mentioned is in fact the businesses that run the world.


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    @jon-mitchell said in If You Find An Author / Director is Morally Corrupt, Do You Still Continue Buying / Watching Their Work?:

    @ren-chan

    "But it's not like Funimation will go back and redub all his parts, they just stopped working with him."

    That is a great example of HOW this is supposed to work! Funimation stopped working with him, I continue to support Funimation because they did the right thing. I don't have to stop watching. Now the original question was a little different (author/director being the culprit not a voice actor) which makes taking action a different situation (switching from dubs to subs on hulu still rewards the creator, but not the same voice actors)

    Nuance is always difficult. This is not a situation where clear cut yes/no applies (this isn't a criticism of Terrance's response- I just happen to be in this thread) Does the creator's views poison the work? for example if I found out a hypothetical author was a convicted pedophile I would NOT be interested in reading his work "My Little Sister..." But if a creator has views that differ from mine politically that's not enough- I'll still watch GATE even though I know the author is very Hawkish and I am not. There's a whole bunch of degrees in between.

    That’s a fair way to look at it and yes, different political opinions won’t push me away unless they are blatantly racist/homophobic which to me is the one step over the line. It’s definitely a question everyone is going to have a different answer to, which makes it a very valuable one to ask.


  • Member

    This is a pretty complex topic in general :o

    I've unfriended people I knew from high school because they were posting stuff I vehemently disagreed with on Facebook, but I realize that doing so turns my Facebook feed into more of an echo chamber, filtering out things I don't want to hear.

    I recently left the Discord belonging to a friend of mine because there was one person who posted really extreme, uninformed political nonsense, and his handle was a riff on a racist meme, (on top of that, he was terrible at coop gaming and made my experience miserable) and my friend refused to do anything about it. It basically came down to "deal with it or leave," and I felt that I couldn't support adults who have the power to do something about it instead allowing that behavior by not addressing it, so I left. I'm sure in their minds they don't see my side of the moral argument and instead just think "he was a stuck-up elitist prude and threw a temper tantrum and left," but at some point it's better to cut my losses and focus on the people I want to be around rather than try to change the minds of people who don't care about how their actions are affecting me.

    To follow up on my last post, while I personally think boycotting the purchase of one work is a rather futile effort, I'm also not the one who has to live with that decision one way or the other. I think it's important to do what you need to do to be comfortable with yourself. I've read stories about people making the decision to cut off family members for pretty justifiable personal reasons, and the comments get really vitriolic, like "just because your mother is a horrible racist who leeches your money and hates your spouse, she's still your only mother and you should suck it up and let her in your life!" (paraphrased, obv ;x), and it's really hard not to think "man, just be glad you've never had to even consider disowning your own parents and respect how much this person had to go through to reach that decision."


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