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


  • Member

    I have to comment. The Act Age situation was goddamn weird. The writer actually put his and his artist's career on the line for something stupid like this. Just at the time when the manga was picking up popularity too. Talk about failing to differentiate fantasy and real life.


  • Member

    Not surprising but the series is cancelled.

    https://comicbook.com/anime/news/act-age-manga-canceled-weekly-shonen-jump-arrest/

    I was enjoying the series so it is unfortunate. With such a talent to write a popular story, it is mind boggling that he did not have the imagination to understand the consequence of his action.


  • Premium Member

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

    It's very, very hard not to draw a line directly between these two things. The fact that the author molested a teenage girl is going to change the way I view the story he wrote, that features a creator about the same age showing a strong interest in a teenage girl.

    This example you ahve there is quite specific. But not all cases are this way. Let's say the above mentioned author of Kenshin. He was charged with having child pornography (and as a new TIL. Didn't know that it was till 2015 a grey zone in Japan). You don't see this in his work. So... what now?

    But to make an addendum to my previous comments. Where do we draw the line? For example Dante's Divin Comedy gets nowadays titulated as antisemitic and racist.

    Or let's take H.P. Lovecraft. This guy was a serious believer of white supremacy. Even going as far as writing something like blacks were made by god to fill the gap bettween man and beast.

    Or another example. Should I stop reading Science Fiction stories by Cordwainer Smith only because he is more well known for books about psychology warfare (under another name)?

    Or an example from licenses on this site. New Life+ was put on hold as someone unearhted old post by him and linked it to the backstory of his MC.

    A newer example in another medium. How about James Gunn who got fired because he made years ago jokes about pedophilia and rape? Should I burn my BD of Guardians of the Galaxy?


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    @saskir Most of those are not particularly difficult calls. Dante, Lovecraft and MINE (NG+) didn't bother creating a line between their beliefs and their works; it's all on display. I'm not familiar with Cordwainer Smith. James Gunn didn't create GotG on his own so whether you think that BD needs destroyed depends on how you weigh others' contributions.


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

    A newer example in another medium. How about James Gunn who got fired because he made years ago jokes about pedophilia and rape? Should I burn my BD of Guardians of the Galaxy?

    Of course! don't forget to burn everything else you own/have ever known including yourself because I'm pretty sure there are more "immoral" things related to it


  • Member

    You know, if you see their works as "information", I'd draw the line on whether the "information" they provide (in this case, that above "information" is usually "perspective") would be useful for me or not, either in real life or for my personal development.

    The Rurouni Kenshin series was a big part of my formative years during high school and college. It gave a lot of insight and perspective regarding pragmatism, morals, and redemption. Because of that, even if the author was afterwards caught owning illicit materials, it doesn't really change much of what I see in this series.

    Giving him the benefit of doubt, I can imagine:

    1. If he can write about moral conflict and redemption so well, then he too must have personally experienced moral dilemma at some point.
    2. The illicit material above might have been part of his study of human nature's darker side (add to the fact those materials were technically legal at the time he acquired them---yes, I've always thought the Japanese had a twisted society).
    3. Considering the society he lives in, if he shifts the blame on someone else who might be more responsible (which I believe he actually could), it would drag uninvolved people and ruining his relationships with them. Not to mention, this goes against his character and of the character he writes.
    4. Again, considering the society he lives in, he couldn't destroy the material nor throw it away without inviting scrutiny, which could again drag uninvolved people.
    5. In the end, the wisest choice was owning up to his mistake and admit in having the material. That way, he becomes a scapegoat. But in Japanese samurai terms, he "retains his honor."

    I personally believe that was the reason he was left off relatively easy and allowed to continue Rurouni Kenshin's sequel series. All this is conjecture, but I think the authorities, publishers, and his personal acquaintances saw the bigger picture and understood all that.

    Kenshin's author simply had some bad stuff and then he turned himself in. He hadn't actually harmed nor brought trauma to anybody.

    I mean, even his long-time collaborator and wife is still together with him.

    On the other hand, in the case of Act Age, the writer actually--unbelievably--acted on his impulses. He actually even wrote about them on the comments sections of his books. Also, the way he is partnered with a much younger female artist and considering what Act Age was about (a young actress being dragged by a much older coach) definitely drew scrutiny.

    This case actually changed the "perspective" readers get from his work. A change that's mostly in bad light. That's why it's wiser for it to be discontinued.

    I might still "get" something from reading it. Especially since I hardly know anything about the world of acting. But with that bad light shining through, it just feels better if I read something else. Like Glass Mask or something.


  • Member

    @shrike_al

    Excellently worded...

    Sadlly, the hypocritical pseudo moralists are only interested on their own points of view


  • Member

    My 2¢: The author's views matter if they impact the work. So, for instance, while the director of MMO Junkie made a ton of tweets regarding antisemitism and Holocaust denial, MMO Junkie itself has nothing to do with that — it doesn't say anything about Jewish issues, genocides, etc., so its author's problematic (to say the least) views don't actually impact the work (we don't see any antisemitic caricature characters or such in MMO Junkie, as far as I'm aware). On the other hand, if we pick (say) The Shadow Over Innsmouth by HP Lovecraft, one of the main sources of horror is humans interbreeding with other races... which is a direct reflection of his own racist views. The work isn't separate from the author's problematic views, so we shouldn't separate the two — I'm not saying you can't enjoy it, but you shouldn't really separate the racism of the author from the message of the work (you can, but it's a bad idea to do so).

    Also, in my opinion, there's a tangible difference between a book or manga written by someone deeply problematic (where the author is at least 1/2 the team behind the work itself) and an anime directed by someone deeply problematic (where the director is one part of a much larger team, given the large number of animators, the producer is an important part of the process, the screenwriter(s) and VAs have a major part... there's a lot more than just one or two people who work on an anime, after all).


  • Premium Member

    @TheGrimLich Thats why I asked where to draw the line.

    And as I gave the example with Lovecraft. Yes I know he was a white supremacist. But I still enjoy reading his stories. Some could say I overlook this theme in his books as I know why he wrote it. It still doesn't change that he was one of the most imaginative writers for horror stories.

    But it is always how you look at something.

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

    @saskir Most of those are not particularly difficult calls. Dante, Lovecraft and MINE (NG+) didn't bother creating a line between their beliefs and their works; it's all on display. I'm not familiar with Cordwainer Smith. James Gunn didn't create GotG on his own so whether you think that BD needs destroyed depends on how you weigh others' contributions.

    Oh I never said they did. Just wanted to point out well known authors whose works are still read by many. But I need to interject with something. MINE. Yes his main character has a resemblance about someone linked to a massacre (to the tee with the mentioned victims). But I don't see him proactively propagating Japanese supremacy (although excluding contempt for anyone who pisses him off). Except you take the part of it that even though he killed so many he is not seen as a bad person according to the system.
    And if it was not clear (but I think you meant it in jest). Nope I will not burn my BD.


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