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



  • The creator could be a saint or a cold-blooded murderer, I honestly couldn't care less. If I find their work interesting, I'm gonna watch/read it.

    Also, I've never read/watched Rurouni Kenshin. But I'll be damned if I judge a guy on what he nuts to. It sure ain't my kink, but I won't deny him his.
    His only crime was possession of illegal materials (which are now confiscated).


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    @doublemangekyo The challenge with the Kenshin guy is that it’s buyers of such materials that allow those materials to exist to the extent that they do. What he was into isn’t just a kink, it’s abuse. Dude had hundreds of DVDs of upper level grade school girls, there’s no way those were made in a way that was consensual. We are talking real abuse on real people who aren’t of the age to say no in a strong way and this is done for money, pure and simple. That sort of abuse can scar a real human and make their entire life a lot harder. You cut off the money and there will be less abuse happening.


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    @the-green-death

    possession of illegal materials may have been the charge (IANAL- not familiar w/ child pornography laws in Japan) if he was in USA would be doing some jail time. Possession means he most likely bought it which means he supported whomever exploited those kids. (That makes him an evil doer by my standards)
    if there is such a thing a cosmic justice - I hope he gets some.

    knowing what I know now - I'd go out of my way not to support that author, and how can I not be squicked out by anything that might even be a little "squicky" (I wouldn't be able to not read 'tone' into the work. Stuff that might've been innocent or I would normally write off as translation/cultural differences, I'll read as intended to be evil)

    pass

    that being said - it isn't practical to do a background check on the creators of every work out there- screen/sift through a moral filter - I'll trust *JNC to do that for me *. It is unrealistic for me to expect everyone else to have the same settings on their "morality meter' as I do, but I trust legitimate business outlets to not permit the truly reprehensible stuff (and I trust them to not do business with truly reprehensible people)


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    @jon-mitchell Absolutely , I’d never do a background check on authors to make sure they are up to my personal morality - that’s untenable. I do indeed trust the companies to dissociate with extreme examples (like Kenshin Dude) and would be disappointed if they didn’t, especially after the press it got. I can’t imagine Crunchy will ever put money into a show directed by Nazi sympathizer guy either.

    My response above was just to the guy claiming child porn is nothing more than a harmless kink. I’ve read a fair amount about human trafficking and have a student who is a lawyer in that field and it makes my skin crawl the way it ruins so many many lives.


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    This is complicated for me. Today, I wore shoes made by slaves (Nike and Dunhill), I eat food that was made by exploitative labor (Tyson chicken, strawberries, potatoes), and listened to music made by a virulent anti-Semite (Wagner) while in the elevator to the building was made by the same company who built the Nazi death (not just concentration) camps (ThyssenKrupp). I got into a government car made by THE American Nazi company (Ford) and was driven to the hotel that is built over a African American pauper graveyard (Fairfax at Dupont Circle).

    I say this, because at some level, it is very difficult to avoid some of these matters when experiencing daily life. Even when I have a choice, I do like American chicken, Das Rheingold, and the luxury of the Fairfax that unless someone reminds me of those other matters, I don't think about it. I view the matter as a Crito argument matter (I choose to live here, and thus am subject to the laws and customs here, even when here is unjust or I disagree.)

    I guess I draw my line in terms of how much their beliefs permeate their work, and how unavoidable it is in the narrative. I have a hard time reading Gate as I do Battlefield Earth, for the same reasons where the ideology creeps its way into the narrative to an extent that I cannot enjoy it without having to reconcile that belief. But one of my favorite mangas is Tezuka's Adolf, which has some Nazi sympathies and some confrontational aspects of war and racism. For me, it actually makes for a better read to contrast the benefits of Nazism against the devil's due of war and racism as Tezuka makes an compelling narrative that yes, people did benefit from the regime at the cost of even more severe crimes against humanity. It's a complicated read, you might get some different messages from it, but the art is compelling because of the realism.

    There is a significant amount of literary criticism devoted to this, I recommend Walter Benjamin on illumination.


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    Update: MMO Junkie Director no longer will be employed by the parent company.

    http://www.signal-md.co.jp/news/test/

    "It has come to our attention that a series of Tweets under the handle, @yaginuma_san, apparently made by Mr. Kazuyoshi Yaginuma have included anti-Semitic comments. SIGNAL MD wishes to make it clear that it is strongly opposed to and deprecates anti-Semitism and all forms of racism or discrimination.

    Mr. Yaginuma was director of the anime “Recovery of an MMO Junkie” produced by SIGNAL MD, has never been our company member and is no longer employed by us.

    Assuming the comments which appear under the Twitter handle @yaginuma_san, were indeed made by Mr. Yaginuma, they are not linked to his role as director of “Recovery of an MMO Junkie” and are not supported by SIGNAL MD.

    We will continue to create works that are moving and enjoyable, with the philosophy of giving excitement to many viewers and working to create works that satisfy our clients.

    Thank you for your support and understanding"



  • Well everyone has their own preference but there is a difference between keeping it personal and right out letting everyone know what they support or not. As for the illegal material guy I think people like that should not be supported because that causes harm to the person being exploited for these type of monsters entertainment. Simple if their is no way of making money, no one willing to pay for that type of content it won’t happen in the mass. Sadly there are sick people out there that pay a lot of money for this so there are people with the power to make it happen for the easy income. That’s why I am happy I stayed away from his work even if it was unintentional.


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    Attack On Titan I guess is going through an arc that has some people questioning the author's representation of Jewish analogous characters.

    (Lots of Manga Spoilers for AOT in there apparently, so I haven't read much).

    https://www.resetera.com/threads/attack-on-titan-has-characters-analogous-to-the-jewish-and-that-annoys-me-massive-manga-spoilers.24832/

    Apparently the author has a history of apologist style comments on Imperialist Japan too.

    I watched season 1, but haven't touched it beyond that. I'm hoping when the dust settles and the series concludes, I can find out if one can continue reading the story without feeling like you're supporting anything propoganda-esque.



  • I've learned to treat the creator's circumstances and their work as slightly different things that impact each other. It's how I've found H.P. Lovecraft, enjoyed The Shadow over Innsmouth and learned his life circumstances and how he came to write the weird story.

    I've considered that if the author is dead and someone else is benefiting from their work such as an estate, I don't have much of a problem reading it. This changed a little when I became aware of manga such as Manga Kenkanryu and Hinomaru Gaisen Otome. This two comics inspired me to research and make sure I comprehend the nuances of Japanese politics more than read the controversial comics.

    At least I know what those loud blaring vans with the microphones in some anime are related to now.

    I don't think anyone wants to support the official release of the second title I mentioned. But here's some information for that title since I tried to research it. Be careful those with weak heart conditions.
    http://fendnow.org/encyclopedia/hinomaru-gaisen-otome/


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    I'm re-examining this topic because I recently watched Recovery of an MMO Junkie and this wasn't front of mind when I did (I stumbled across the title on CR and found it to be delightful- ignorance is bliss?)

    the moral quandary of 'separating the art from the artist' is ongoing. Do you listen to R-Kelly? Can we watch 'House of Cards' or 'Recovery of an MMO Junkie' ? or Buy LN of GATE?

    I guess my 'line in the sand' is: "How much of the work reflects the moral failings of the artist?" and are the moral failings criminal/beyond holding a political position that I don't agree with.

    Orson Scott Card (Ender's Game is probable his most popular work) is a homophobe and promotes religious/social positions that I don't agree with, but that are mostly not reflected in his work. I'd have a hard time getting behind a boycott effort against him, but I'm not particularly interested in buying more of his books either.

    the Recovery of an MMO Junkie director seems to be an active participant in Neo-nazi/history denial/anti -semetic stuff. If I knew that a anime was directed by him after this came out (and a studio hired him in spite of the moral outcry) I'd likely not watch it. At the same time I'd still recommend Recovery of an MMO Junkie itself. All the other artists, the author, studio etc. shouldn't be punished for the failings of the director - who isn't the creator of the work.

    R-Kelly? not my jam anyway - but I support those who want him jailed/boycotted- and I support media outlets that no longer play his music- that stuff is wrong


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    I haven't rewatched MMO Junkie since I found out about the director (some of my favorite GIFs were also from that one, and I retired them). Dunno how true it is, but I think someone said the director likely doesn't get any sort of royalty or anything, that he was paid for his work and that's it, so at least you don't have to feel bad morally. I do wonder if it lost all the Crunchyroll awards because of the director fallout.

    Separating the art from the artist isn't really the major factor for me, it's "will me watching this benefit that person in any way monetarily and platform wise". There's then the question of "you would harm a whole team over one individuals moral culpability?", especially because we know there are no purchases you can make in this world that are 100% morally good (someone in the food chain is likely a racist, sexist, or otherwise reprehensible figure at all major corporations). You can still at least make your voice heard on social media at the least if you take real umbrage with a certain member of production, but still want to buy a product.

    I'm kind of curious if English voice actors get royalties for roles in games and anime? (on the subject of separating the art from the artist, that's one where I'm going to struggle as some voice actors are the characters to me; I can't even look at a GIF without thinking of the voice).

    Another guy who is facing a bit more scrutiny recently is one of the major leads with Catherine, Katsura Hashino. Whether Full Body's issues are a problem or some of the takes based on second hand info were a bit rash, his works in the past have featured LGBT based jokes that have come off as a bit tasteless to some. People say the productions he isn't on / doesn't have as much control on at Atlus tend to not have those jokes.

    Some have even been debating whether they should buy the Smash Bros Joker DLC since there's stuff that character was written to say and do they take offense with (there's a dialogue choice where he tells a friend receiving unwanted sexual harrassment to either "buck up / deal with it" or just plain ignoring him for laughs; I have not played the game yet, so this is second-Hand knowledge).


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    The sheer absurdity of this topic basically describes everything that is wrong with modern perpetually outraged and offended society and makes my brain hurt. The irony of the fact that it usually comes from America shouldn't escape anyone either. Hypocrisy and illusion of moral superiority is their new God. Let the next generation be better.


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

    The sheer absurdity of this topic basically describes everything that is wrong with modern perpetually outraged and offended society and makes my brain hurt. The irony of the fact that it usually comes from America shouldn't escape anyone either. Hypocrisy and illusion of moral superiority is their new God. Let the next generation be better.

    I actually don't see anything wrong here. If a consumer does not want to support an author then they don't have to. If you do want to support an author you can. It is their choice and if enough ppl choose not to then so be it.


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    My 2 cents. Don't care either way. If the work is good and enjoyable, why should I care what the person does with their life? I might not like them personally, but generally I'm not one who would ever look deeply into an author/director/etcs personal business. Its their business. The extent I would look into the creator of a work is if I enjoyed something they did, I'd look into and see if they have any other works. Beyond that , I do not care.


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    @drone205 said in If You Find An Author / Director is Morally Corrupt, Do You Still Continue Buying / Watching Their Work?:

    I actually don't see anything wrong here. If a consumer does not want to support an author then they don't have to. If you do want to support an author you can. It is their choice and if enough ppl choose not to then so be it.

    It's funny because it never ends this way and often destroys people's lives when they orchestrate a big enough commotion. There're already movements to fire Catherine's director, mmo's director, dragon maid's mangaka etc. REDACTED BY MOD RB We are not even talking about criminals here, we are literally discussing people who express diferrent views.

    The problem is in the people's head. They revel in the illusion of their moral superioty just because they follow the concepts they themselves created. You see it even in the title. Morally corrupt? Compared to what? To your concept of morality created by your morally questionable society? Because someone views history differently to your country that rewrites history weekly to their own convenience? Because someone made a joke you think is "not thoughtful"? Often from a country that kills thousands in the East for made up reasons but nobody really cares because it's not about their new idols: homosexuality or ultrasexuals? Does anyone care that the whole Iraq war was officially confirmed to be orchestrated, that the whole country was destroyed for oil? And that it happened again for similar reasons with Syria? With Libya? With Venezuela? The list is endless. Does anyone boycott stars who support Bush, Clinton, Obama, Trump?

    No, but they sure are ready to fire Hashino because he MIGHT NOT agree IN THEORY with their concepts which they view as moral just because they believe in those. You think his jokes aren't funny? Well, too bad, I think they are, that's all there's to it. If there's anyone morally corrupt it's surely not people with different believes or different sense of humour or set of values. It's the people who judge them while thinking themselves superior. They are morally corrupt, they are morally bankrupt.



  • @novurdim I redacted part of your post, like 95% was fine it was just expressing your opinion the part I redacted was directly against a single user.


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    I'm sorry, it was just an example but I probably got a bit too irritated by the contradictory nature of it all. You just see the mob trying to trample someone because they think they are not "moral enough" compared to their own superficial standards every other week nowadays. As such seeing this topic again, where people are intented to gather to show off how "moral" they are because they can't consume media someone with different beliefs took part in, irked me more than it should have. If you are so convinced you can judge everyone around you, you should really take a long look at your own morality.


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

    My 2 cents. Don't care either way. If the work is good and enjoyable, why should I care what the person does with their life? I might not like them personally, but generally I'm not one who would ever look deeply into an author/director/etcs personal business. Its their business. The extent I would look into the creator of a work is if I enjoyed something they did, I'd look into and see if they have any other works. Beyond that , I do not care.

    For the most part I agree with this, or this is how I am like generally. Notable exceptions are if supporting someone directly leads to harm or criminal activity. I will NOT support a pedo who uses the money they get from royalties to buy child porn. I don't really care if a comedian made some joke 10 years ago that was in "poor taste" or if an author has different opinions and world-view as me; what I do care about is of the author actively harms others or is a criminal.


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    Morally corrupt is morally corrupt based on your own understanding of morality. There is no one definition (we explored earlier in the topic that some religions and some countries have laws or beliefs against things like homosexuality, while my sphere of morality and laws in my country are moving towards acceptance of homosexuality). If your morality is different, you can view things from a different sphere entirely, and that's valid.

    I do think, in general, I buy what I like, and only ignore what I could probably put aside anyways (or, just didn't like to begin with). Like has been discussed, you can't really escape the ecosystem of buying stuff from people that are morally heinous at some point in the line of production of virtually everything. It takes something super major to be like "I won't ever participate with my all time favorite series again" (I'm not saying this doesn't happen, but I'm sure it's rarer for me). Even with Catherine, I love it as a puzzler, and I want to play it again, so I likely will try Full Body.

    Stuff I haven't participated with at all, like Ruroni Kenshin, pretty easy to say no to though. MMO Junkie I already watched all the way through, so I don't want to act like a tough guy sitting on my moral highground there either when I've already seen all I had to see, there's no internal debate to be had really.

    Just as a small aside, there are aspects to the morally reprehensible stuff that can perpetuate bad messaging that leads to discrimination + harm mentally or otherwise for a group of people, and stuff with "good" messaging (again, based on certain popular moralities in the West) that lead to positive change + acceptance for an affected group. Again, even the bad stuff, especially in older historical published works, I still find fascinating to look at and examine, and the debate they open up can be enriching sometimes (if we didn't have "evil" in the world, we wouldn't know what "good" looks like).


    In the post above about Catherine's creative dude, I just posted about what the debate has been on, I didn't make any conclusion on my own because it's definitely something I need to hear more opinion and debate on, and need to wait for the localization to see how the lines play there. I haven't played enough Persona to have any definitive opinion on that front (I played most of P3P + 4 Golden, but that's all).

    I don't think there's any way Atlus USA can win with this one because even if they localize it exactly the way it was originally written, there will either be ill-informed people who will think that they made it up for localization purposes if there's transgender acknowledgement in the orignal lines [see Zombie Land Saga] or they'll get hate for not changing it to be less offensive from the other side. And then there's of course altering lines to make it more transgender positive.

    (Major ending Spoilers for one of the new endings for Catherine Full Body SPOILERS):


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    As others have mentioned, trying to avoid giving money to anyone whose beliefs you do not support is straight-up impossible. No one has the energy or capability to vet every single person they think their money will go to for whether their beliefs are "okay"; you're not going to grill your waiter's beliefs before giving them a tip, for example.

    That said, this applies mainly to when one has no knowledge of a person's beliefs. The question is whether knowing someone has reprehensible beliefs is grounds for not "supporting" works they are directly involved with. As others have brought up, though, there are often other people involved in the production of that work whose beliefs are likely not so bad, and in those cases you run into the quandary of your actions "punishing" those who are basically innocent in the situation. In some cases where there's a more direct link between work and creator you can make a stronger case, though. Also, if you're really worried that you're sending a "bad message" to youths or whatnot, I'd say the responsibility for teaching those youths lies more with the adults directly involved in their individual lives, not the nebulous "public" and their decisions to support certain works or not.

    In the end, if you ask me, what matters most is the actual content of the works. After all, it's much easier to vet a work for problematic content than it is to check everyone involved in the production of that work for their beliefs. If the creator's toxic beliefs haven't seeped into the work itself, then I don't see a real reason to boycott the work just because someone involved is a bad apple. I can pretty easily explain that what I'm supporting is only what is in the work itself, thus encouraging others to produce more such works.

    And if in the process, some of my money ends up in bad people's hands... eh, money is kinda overrated.