The Art and the Artist: Can You Separate Them?

I don’t really know how to write this post because there are so many points to address, so I guess I’m just going to get right into it. There has always been talk about whether or not you can separate the art from the artist, but recently, as more and more authors show their ass, I think it’s an important discussion to be had. First and foremost, I don’t think that art can be fully separated from the artist. I’m going to further explain why, but it’s probably best for me to put my opinion out there first. (Also apologies in advance if this post is super essay like, I have no idea how to write this).

There are two reasons that I think someone might think that separating the art from the artist is ok. The first is that they are very attached to the art. Because the piece of media means so much to them they’ll either try and justify what the artist has done, or try and ignore it and say that the art is a separate part of the artist. And yeah, I get it. Like I said in the last post I wrote, Harry Potter was never the biggest deal to me growing up, so no longer endorsing the series and JK Rowling wasn’t very hard for me. However, recently, an author of a book that I very publicly supported and recommended was accused of harassing women. From the second I saw that news I knew that I no longer would be supporting Paul Krueger or recommending Steel Crow Saga on this blog or any other platform. It’s important for me to be upfront about this because his book was in the footer that I used for every post, and it was in the header for this blog. We recently made changes to get the book removed from our blog design. Originally, I really liked that book, but upon hearing the news that he was a crappy person, there was no doubt or debate over whether I would still be supporting him. 

Sorry, not sorry Paul

This leads me to the second reason why I think people refuse to acknowledge problematic things authors have done. Sometimes, they might not think that it’s a big deal. These people aren’t concerned with how the art might be affected because they can brush off whatever horrible thing the artist has done. There are a bunch of anti-semitic authors whose books I don’t read, because as a Jew I’m obviously not going to go around and read the books of someone who thinks I don’t have the right to exist. But for people who aren’t Jewish they probably don’t even know that these authors are anti-semitic since it’s something that doesn’t concern them. 

But for people in the book community who choose to ignore and excuse the bad things authors they like have done, I have to say that you can’t just pick and choose. When you continue to consume media by a “problematic” author, you are supporting them financially and otherwise. In which case you’re saying that you do support that author, so it can be assumed that you agree with what they’ve done as well. The way I see it, if I buy another Harry Potter related product, I am supporting J.K Rowling. If I convince more people to read Steel Crow Saga, I am supporting Paul Krueger. If by consuming the art you are supporting the artist in any way, then no, you can’t separate the art from the artist. 

Additionally, I believe that every piece of art holds some part of the artist within it. Their views, their dreams, and their experiences. There have been many posts about the racist, anti-semitic, fatphobic, and transphobic rhetoric that can be found in the Harry Potter series, and considering things that the author has publicly said since publishing the series, I don’t think that it’s really a surprise to anyone. 

Now I know that a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this one, but I think it’s important for people to think about the issue of art vs artist before they decide to brush off whatever has been said and done. Ignoring the bad things that a person has done makes it seem like you don’t care about the people that person has hurt. It makes it seem like you don’t disagree with the views they hold. So, the next time you might think that you can just forget or put aside something an author has done because it doesn’t directly affect you, remember that silence and complacency is endorsement.

What do you think about separating the art and the artist? Do you think it’s possible?

49 thoughts on “The Art and the Artist: Can You Separate Them?

  1. I love this post so much, Chana!! & agree with everything you said in it! I believe that you can’t truly separate the art from the artist, because the art came from the artist.

    I don’t think any of my favorite authors have done truly outrageous stuff (good thing HP wasn’t really a huge part of my childhood & when I reread a couple of the books, I didn’t like them). But some have definitely done some questionable things. I just learned today that V.E. Schwab once used her platform to send fans to attack a brown queer blogger who raised valid questions about the relationship between a minor & adult in her books. What she did was absolutely wrong, and I’m incredibly disappointed that she hasn’t apologized, but I’m wondering: as bad as what she did was, does it really warrant a retraction of support? Also, I’ve recently become aware that Brandon Sanderson has expressed homophobic beliefs in the past, but I’m still unsure if I really have let him go, because 1) he was raised Mormon, a religion which is extremely homophobic, & 2) he’s allegedly unlearned his views? And Leigh Bardugo once said that oppression against white people is real (which she apologized for). But does that mean that I still have to unstan her??

    The “can you separate the art from the artist” conversation makes me wonder if we have to cancel *every* author who’s done something wrong or questionable. Because, if you think about it, no one is truly unproblematic, & if we conducted a thorough investigation on everyone’s entire life, wouldn’t everyone be guilty in some way?

    I don’t know what to do exactly. But I do know that there is a certain limit to the amount of problematic things a person can do, and people like JKR, PK, John Boyne, etc. have crossed the threshold, & I am never showing them support again. I’m just confused as to what kind of behavior warrants cancellation 😅 Right now, I haven’t completely unstanned VS or BS, but I’m trying to show less support for them by mentioning their books less often, but I’m unsure if this is the right course of action?? Should I cut them out my life completely??

    I have spent so long writing this comment & I don’t know if it even makes sense, but anyways, this is a great post, Chana!! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aaah, thank you!! And thank you for your comment, it does make sense!!

      I completely agree. There are a lot of situations which aren’t always so clear cut. I actually have the same experience with VE Schwab, I really love a bunch of her books, but I know that she’s done some problematic things and hasn’t apologized. And it’s hard to figure out where to draw the line of, hey, I will no longer be engaging with you or your works. I do think that there are some things and views that can be apologized for, and I always have the hope that people will do better. Especially when there are people who have been raised with certain views (like Brandon Sanderson).

      There’s also a whole nother conversation to be had about cancel culture itself. Like how sometimes people are “falsely” canceled for things. I remember when the author of Gideon the Ninth was so to speak “canceled” and attacked social media for fanfiction she wrote that portrayed a pedophiliac relationship. I had initial plans of reading the book, but when I saw that I then decided not to. Later on, the author wrote a post about how she wrote that to deal with sexual harassment she had experienced as a child. It’s a bit of an extreme situation, but I think that parts of the book community (basically just book twitter) are sometimes really quick to cancel people. It is a bit sad when there are authors who are forced to come out because people attack them for writing queer rep and being not own voices.

      For myself, authors who are accused of assault or harassment get automatic cancellation. As do authors who are vocally racist/homophobic, and buckle down behind their statements even when they get called out for them. For other types of problematic behavior, it is harder. Because like you said, if you dive into anyone’s background, there’s probably something somewhere that someone will find problematic!

      I also think the increase in “cancel culture” has a lot to do with how nowadays, as opposed to even 30 years ago, authors and celebrities are so much closer to the consumer? Like an author can just tweet anything they want and thousands of us will see it, whereas in the past a reader would probably have to wait for a specially curated interview to get a glimpse of what an author was like.

      Anywho, sorry if my response is rambly 😅 But I could literally discuss this forever! There’s so much to talk about!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, I agree with you some people are wrongfully canceled!! I’m so sad that happened to Tamsyn Muir & I hate the not ownvoices one because i know well that not everyone has the privilege of being out 😫

        Yes, I agree with you! Assault/abuse/harassment is automatic cancellation, & when people refuse to unlearn (like JKR 🙄) they are going straight to the trash bin. It’s so hard when it’s another type of behavior though. I don’t want people to think that I don’t hold authors accountable for their actions—I really do—but I also think that not *every* behavior warrants cancellation & some people have genuinely learned from their mistakes. I think I’ll just go around this by mentioning their books less often, getting them for free, &/or making people aware of what they’ve done when I do talk about their books.

        Exactly! I hate twitter for making me so aware of what problematic stuff an author has done. On one hand, I’m happy to know & retract my suppose accordingly, but I also wish I could live in an ignorant bubble sometimes & just enjoy the art I consume (which is, unfortunately, a privilege, & I can’t do so when I have a platform, no matter how small it is)

        same, there is so much to dissect with this topic!!! Maybe I should write my own post on it, but it’d be SO long & easily be split into parts 😭😭

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yesssss!! You should write your own post about it!! There’s just so so much to say, and I feel like it’s just a super complex topic in general. I swear, every day I find out about a new thing some author did, or said, or thought, and I have no idea what the appropriate response is especially when it may have just been a misunderstanding or mistake 😅

          Liked by 1 person

  2. chana, thank you so much for writing this! this is a topic i’ve been thinking *a lot* about lately, after the whole JKR thing, and i think after reading your post, i’d have to write an entire one myself in order to narrow down all my thoughts, lol.

    but i agree with what caitlin said in this previous comment! i think my issue with cancel culture is that people are “canceled” equally, even when their problematic stands have various degrees. if an author said something problematic in the past, but has since either apologized or shown to have grown – by using their platform to support marginalized voices, for example -, should we still cut them out completely? like you said, i think in cases of harassment and assault, there is no coming back from, but it bothers me that social media throws authors who have done these things and authors who have said problematic things in the past in the same bin, when i don’t think they’re the same at all.

    i think a take of mine that may be controversial, and you’re definitely open to disagreeing with me, is that i feel like when an author or celebrity is canceled, that should tell us about what to do moving forward not how to interact with what they’ve already done. so, for example, woody allen. (i’m not a fan of his movies, but i think it works). if he was to release a new movie, i don’t think anyone should watch it or support it. but, if one still has attachment to a movie they’ve released in the past, i think that’s valid. i don’t know if i’ve been able to express myself correctly, but i think what i mean is that cancel culture should affect what we do moving forward, but it doesn’t mean we should shame people for still holding on to the content created by said “canceled” artists.

    once again, thank you for writing this post! i am sorry my comment is so long!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nooo, I love long comments! Thank you for commenting! 💕

      And yes! I think that canceling equally is definitely problematic. There’s also talk right now on Twitter about how some authors of color are canceled “harder” than some white authors who are currently facing the same allegations. I think that sometimes, people on social media jump at any opportunity to be angry, and they sometimes take out their anger on some people who may not completely deserve it. And then there comes along someone who is accused of assaulting people and suddenly people don’t have the same energy anymore.

      I agree! Obviously, there are some things that I think can’t be excused. There was actually a segment with Pete Davidson on SNL where he was discussing cancel culture and whether or not he could still listen to music from R. Kelly (an accused pedophile). In it, he pointed out that if someone still wants to benefit from the art of a problematic artist they need to admit that the artist was/is a bad person. He also proposed that every time someone watches a movie or listens to music made by a serial predator, they should donate money to a charity that helps assault survivors. Even though the bit was made for comedy, he did make quite a few good points in it. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlzAhIl482c that’s the link if you’re interested :).

      If you do make a post I’d love to read it! There’s so much to talk about on this topic and I love hearing what everyone thinks!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Chana, sorry it took me so long to get back to you! I am so thankful you linked me to that video! It’s kinda crazy because I never liked Pete Davidson, and so I could’ve never seen myself agreeing with him, but like you said, there were a lot of good points!
        Thanks for sharing!

        Like

  3. This is such a complicated topic. One second I believe that yes, you can separate art from the artist to a degree, the next I believe it’s impossible. If someone is Islamophobic for instance, I’d be seriously offended and 100% percent not support them because this is something that really affects me. But then, if the person attacks a different group, half the time, I probably won’t notice (which is terrible), and if they apologize, I think I’d be willing to forgive I think. Idk, I haven’t been in that position just yet.

    Being able to separate art from the artist is something that I think we do especially when we have a book that we like and then the author does something problematic. If we didn’t know the book, it’d be easier to divorce oneself from the issue entirely, but loving the book for a while makes it much harder to do so. I’ve heard sometimes that Leigh Bardugo has been problematic and that SoC has some issues that offend some people. I’m kind of conflicted. I loved SoC, so so much. But at the same time, if she’s saying something or what she wrote hurt some people I don’t want to be a part of that. I’ve tried talking about it much less on my blog, but I haven’t stopped doing it altogether.

    By not ignoring her and her books completely, am I aiding her in the hurtful things she said? I don’t ever buy books, so any supporting I’ve ever done is by recommending or talking about the book on my blog and on GR.

    Sometimes I think that I’m just being in denial by using the “separate art from the artist” argument. But other times, I truly do believe that if the book itself isn’t overly seriously problematic, then you can still love the book and ignore the author. Sure, definitely don’t talk about it as much, but you can still love it quietly. Which sounds ridiculous right now. The art is from the artist, so it’s bound to have some of those issues no matter how subtle.

    Lol, I’m just flip-flopping from one position to the other. I just don’t know anymore. But this was a great discussion and I’m glad you wrote it 💕✨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I absolutely feel like this sometimes too! When you feel especially attached to a book, or even a product or movie, it’s really hard to say, Ok! Now I will cut all ties with it! Especially if it’s something that’s a big part of your life. I do think apologies are important because people can grow from harmful views. Harmful actions, on the other hand, I tend to draw the line at. But another thing about apologies is that because cancel culture has gotten so big, sometimes you don’t even know if an apology is genuine or forced! I always hope that people learn and grow from past mistakes, but you can never really know.

      The same also goes the other way, a lot of these authors who are often exposed for being problematic people were assumed to be great before their exposure. There could be loads more authors who are terrible and we just don’t know, but we can’t go around and not read anything in fear of that.

      It also feels weird to say this, but I definitely think that there are “levels” of what is problematic. Like you said, there are some topics that we each will take a lot more personal, and that will affect us each a lot more. So when authors are problematic in this way, usually people in the specific groups effected will take more drastic measures and probably not consume art by that author again. While people outside those groups will not even realize that the author had done something bad in the first place. It’s a difficult topic to discuss, especially nowadays when everything’s so interconnected and we get news about people being problematic a loooot faster, and honestly, I go back and force about this sometimes too! Thank you for commenting!! 💕💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely, I also think that there are levels to problematic content. There can be things that are easily forgivable, such as one simple mistake, or an unintended one. There is also the things that are pretty unforgivable, like delibrate repeated saying/doing of problematic things without any remorse. It also all depends on you the reader and whether this directly affects you or not. And yeah, it’s hard to tell nowadays if someone actually cares, or they’re just saying it to avoid total cancellation. It’s a good thing that we can hold others accountable for their actions, but now we never really know if someone is sincere.
        ❤✨💕

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s honestly a really complicated discussion. There are some times when I think the work is greater than the author and is still worth reading? I’ve heard that Maggie Stiefvater has said and done some weird things in the past, but that doesn’t bleed over into the first three Raven Cycle books too much, and I still really like them. Other times, finding out about an author doing bad things puts their whole work into perspective. I know some people had that experience with J.K. Rowling.
    For me, if I already really like the book and the author hasn’t been accused of something REALLY terrible, I’ll still like the book! I might not read it as much, but I won’t throw out the whole thing. On the other hand, I’m definitely not here for supporting authors who commit assault or harassment. I can’t do that without going against what the victims would want.
    (I’ll also say that J.K. Rowling has me TIRED over here and I just don’t want to read her books anymore.)

    I loved your post! It’s definitely something we need to think about and decide how we want to handle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I pretty much feel the same way! I think the way I see it is that bad actions get no pass whatsoever because if someone has it in them to do something so terrible, I don’t want to be associated with them in any way. On the other hand, people saying bad things is slightly less serious. I do obviously think that hate speech is a big no, but I’ve seen people get canceled for a lot less than that. There are also some cases where people try to cancel popular authors just because they don’t like their books. So some things like that can’t always be trusted or taken seriously. There’s so much to think about when it comes to this, and a lot of times people just have to decide personally what they plan on doing in relation to an author whose books they love.

      And ugh, YES. I always hope that people with homophobic and transphobic views can get new perspectives and learn, but at this point, JK Rowling is just digging her heels in and doing so much harm to a bunch of people who loved her books growing up.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is an interesting point, about cancelling things because you don’t like what they have said or done, with people having different things were we draw the line. What you may need to think about is does the person still make money from the art or does someone who is innocent lose out. Take the R Kelly, situation, at the moment he is still innocent, but if he is found guilty and you stop buying or playing, his records then band members will lose out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s definitely true, and it’s an interesting perspective. Because at the same time, if you do continue to consume the art, someone who is innocent will be benefiting, but so will someone who isn’t. I know in R. Kelly’s case, his label cut ties with him after the allegations. I also think there’s a separation between what’s become a sort of “mass cancellation” that occurs sometimes on the internet, where an artist is completely blacklisted by thousands of people, and what’s a personal choice to no longer support an individual artist. For me, I’m not going to try and convince other people who to cancel and who not to cancel, since everyone has their own opinions and views. However, if there is someone who has done something problematic, I have the ability to use my platform to denounce them, and let people know that I will no longer be supporting them.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonderful post, Chana! JKR really is a piece of trash and she continues to disappoint us…

    I agree that I don’t think art can be fully separated, but I do think it can be separated to an extent. I agree that the author’s sentiments are, unfortunately, probably present to some extent in the book, and since art is such a personal thing I think it’s basically impossible to read a book or view a piece of art without it being connected to the author. However, I do think that cancel culture can be really vicious and a bit ridiculous to expect people to cancel someone at the slightest thing wrong. And in the end, we’re all only human and sometimes I just want to read a book and I have no idea what the author is like, or watch a movie and I have no idea who the actors are and if they have any problematic aspects, and I don’t want to always be researching the artist to determine if I can consume the artwork.

    I also think that it’s okay to enjoy something vaguely problematic as long as you acknowledge the problematic aspects. For example, I know lots of old disney movies are pretty racist, and I think it’s okay to, like, enjoy Peter Pan and the story of a boy who will never grow up in Neverland while still knowing that the portrayal of the Native Americans was racist and bad. And for me with JKR, I’m Asian (in fact my mom’s last name is Chang) and I kind of laugh at “Cho Chang” which is such a ridiculous caricature name, but it’s such a small thing one character’s maybe racist name that never impacted my enjoyment of the series as a whole.

    However, for JKR I guess there’s always a line crossed, and obviously JKR being blatantly transphobic is a bit different just calling a minor character Cho Chang. I feel uncomfortable continuing to support JKR and personally don’t want to give her any more money by buying books or seeing fantastic beasts or anything. However, HP was such a huge part of my childhood WITHOUT JKR, such as playing HP with friends and family, so for me, I feel okay separating it a bit and continuing to privately love something that I loved for so long, as long as I don’t support her financially.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree with you! Cancel culture has really turned into something vicious, that has a tendency to ruin people’s lives. And I think that if someone is going to enjoy the art, they have to recognize that the artist was/is a bad person, primarily because you can’t really separate the art from the artist. I also kind of hate Twitter sometimes since it always tells me when there is an author or an actor who has done something bad/holds views I don’t agree with, and the fact that social media allows us to spread information so fast definitely makes us see authors differently than we would’ve even 10 years ago.

      I’d also be lying if I said that I didn’t consume art by artists who have done/said problematic things. With people like JKR and Paul Krueger, I’ve decided to completely separate myself from endorsing them because of how drastic their actions have been. And I think the main part that I think about is, hey, is this going to directly support the author? Asking millions of people to give up a huge part of their childhood is a lot, especially because with something like Harry Potter, where the fans really turned it into so much more than it was.

      And definitely, in relation to old Disney movies and things like that, I think that watching them now and *knowing* hey, this wasn’t great, shows a kind of growth in society. Like when Peter Pan came out, people probably didn’t bat an eye, but now people can still watch it and enjoy it and know that it’s bad. It’s kind of like how I know that Shakespeare was a huge anti-semite, but I still love his works! I read this book once called “The Social Production of Art” and in it, the author claimed that the art is always completely separate from the artist because the art that is produced is more of a reflection of the sociological beliefs and culture of the time, rather than a direct reflection of the artist. I kind of half of agree with this in the sense that sometimes authors will do bad things or produce problematic art, but attitudes can change and we can learn to view them differently. I do disagree with it though on the basis that the author doesn’t put any bit of themselves into their work, mostly because not everyone’s culture and sociological beliefs are the same, and probably vary based on the artist, making it then, an actual reflection of the artist.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. love this discussion, chana! when i was younger and hadn’t read as many thinkpieces on this topic, i used to think you could separate the art and artist to some extent, but i definitely don’t think that anymore. i really love the point you bring up about still supporting the author by financial means — i feel like if you REALLY wanted to read a book by a problematic author, you could probably just pirate the book, but if you promote it or anything of that sort, you still risk encouraging others to pick it up and support them

    i think there are certain behaviors that i can adjust my support for, though, if that makes sense. especially since we all are learning and it’s important that we apologize, look at ourselves, and change when we do something wrong! so while someone might say something bad at one point, i’ll likely forgive them if their apology is satisfactory, though perhaps not go so hard for them. while on the other hand, if they do unforgivable things like sexual assault or harassment like paul krueger, or continue to be a horrible person like jk rowling, then i’m definitely retracting my support completely!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 💕 Yeah, exactly. I also think that as a blogger, it’s something I need to think about more. Because now when I pick up a book and read it, there’s going to be an audience of people who see that I’m doing it and may decide to pick it up too if I put it in a tag or a wrap-up. And I definitely agree that there are people who I can adjust my support for as well. If I decided to blacklist every single author who has ever gotten into some kind of trouble on Twitter, I wouldn’t have any books left to read.

      I think apologies are important, and I’d much rather see someone show some sort of growth rather than just saying no you’re forever canceled and leaving it at that. Like I’d be thrilled if JK Rowling suddenly said, hey I know I suck, now I’m going to donate a bunch of money to trans charities as a reparation. But the way she’s going right now, she’s more likely to sprout wings and call herself a hippogriff. I like to think of it along the lines of, actions have consequences. So when an author turns out to be an assaulter or harasser, that’s an actionable offense. While on the other hand, if an author said something that might be seen as problematic, that’s a view they might be able to unlearn and apologize for.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s very difficult, if not impossible to separate the art from the artist. This is probably why people dislike it when actors, singers, artists, and writers speak out on politics. Athletes also have this problem. People want them to stick to their fields and be quiet because if they disagree with their idols it bursts their bubble.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! I’ve seen it happen where people will completely blacklist a celebrity for having different political views than them, even though before they knew that they adored the celebrity. I do agree that knowing a person’s views can really change your perception of them, and it’s really interesting to see how people will react once they find something out about a big celebrity. Sometimes they choose to ignore it because they love the art so much, and sometimes they cut it off completely.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. What a great post! I agree, you can’t really separate the art from the artist. When I was younger, I didn’t really think about this, but the older I get and the more I read, the more I notice and the more I want to do.
    The thing is, Harry Potter will always be a part of me therefore I’ll keep my (huge) collection of books. And I guess many others will as well. But I won’t buy anymore books and I won’t promote it anymore and I also won’t buy any more merch. I’m donating a certain amount of money per book I own to LGBT+ organisations. There is no reason for me to just continue as before when people have been hurt and it’s just so frustrating when other people out there post their HP stuff as if nothing has happened, when they don’t even acknowledge that an author has done something wrong.
    As you said, there will always be something of the authors themselves in their books. Their views will always be somehow represented in their works. And even if it’s not, you shouldn’t support them financially. Just… reflect what the author is doing and what you yourself are doing. Listen to people who were hurt by either the artist or the art. I think we’re well past the time where everyone can live in their own bubble and ignore everything else just because it doesn’t affect them personally.
    So yeah, this was very rambl-y, mostly because I wrote and deleted and wrote and deleted this for like 10 times but I hope you’ll understand it nevertheless 😀 But yeah, great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! That’s so amazing that you’re doing that! And *yes* seeing people continue to post Harry Potter content without even acknowledging what JKR has done really frustrates me. I understand that Harry Potter is a huge part of many people’s lives, and I’m not asking anyone to let go of it completely, but if you’re going to hold on to a piece of art by a problematic artist, the least you could do is recognize that the artist did something bad.

      Thank you for your comment! You weren’t rambly at all! 💕😄

      Like

  10. This is such a great post idea, Chana! And, it’s a really controversial and complicated topic, too. I totally agree with you. Separating the art from the artist seems wrong to me. When I read this blog post’s title J.K. Rowling immediately came into my mind and I just knew that you would include her and I am glad that you did. The things she writes and posts just make me sad and angry and I can’t understand how she can be the same person as the one who created the world of Harry Potter…?!

    Great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh, I know! It feels terrible seeing an author I used to be in awe of stoop to such low levels. It’s really upsetting that she’s sort of “revealed” herself to be a bad person, but in a way, I’m kind of happy I know so that I know not to support her anymore. Thank you!! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This is such a thoughtful (and thought provoking) post! I have complicated feelings as it is a complicated topic. Basically, if it’s someone like JKR for example, who has been given chance after chance and proven to be crappy regardless of people trying to educate her, then yeah I’m done. I never read the HP series when I was younger, but bought them a few years ago for my daughter. Reading them with her, I’ve been really able to see what people are talking about in terms of her awfulness bleeding onto the page.

    That said, and like others above me have said, if it’s a rarity and the author seems to have grown and learned, then obviously I am going to move past it. Like- if we want people to do better, we have to give them a chance to do better. BUT a caveat is, if it’s something REALLY heinous like assault or whatever, then yeah there are no second chances in that case!

    Books are interesting because like- the author is the only one who really is involved at its core. For example, I just found out that an actor on a show I had enjoyed is The Worst. But that doesn’t mean I won’t watch the show (they fired him), because like, all the other people aren’t the worst! But with a book, the author is the WHOLE brand. So if the author is being trashy and has horrible beliefs, then I have no reason to continue supporting them.

    So yeah I think there are degrees of awfulness, and I decide based on that. Like JKR is clearly not a nice person, so bye. The male authors who have harassed and assaulted, also bye. I have seen authors who stand by their awful opinions about a certain group of people, and those are also authors I refuse to read. But I am also willing to overlook a mistake, especially when there is an apology. None of us is perfect, and we have ALL misspoken or made mistakes in our lives, so I feel there is room for forgiveness without a doubt. It’s when it’s a clear pattern and the person makes no attempt to do better that they have no place on my bookshelves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes exactly! The topic itself is just so complicated, and I 100% think that each thing has to be taken on a case by case basis. Like if I find out that an author really is a bad person, I’m going to try and separate myself from that in part because of how intrinsically tied they are to their work.

      But if there’s someone who has apologized, or has just honestly changed and shown they wanted to do better I don’t really see the point of completely “canceling” them. People are complex and people make mistakes, and like, I’ve probably said dumb and insensitive things in the past too. I think that the internet is really quick, and everyone’s super interconnected now, so sometimes the smallest thing can be taken out of context or blown out of proportion.

      And I think you make a great point with actors! Though there might be some level of “supporting” them by watching their content (unless they’ve been fired from the show), the art is definitely not as connected to them as it is with authors. I also think that it’s somehow harder to get canceled in Hollywood, so for a lot of people we don’t really know what’s fact or fiction, or if they ever faced repercussions for what they did.

      Like

  12. Chana, this is such an amazing post and I’m glad you decided to share it. I definitely have mixed feelings about the idea of separating art from the artist but for sure they can never be entirely disentangled, though I think they can be separated to some degree? And absolutely, some of an author’s opinions are going to end up in their work even if not realised initially.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! There are definitely complexities at hand with separating partially or completely, but I always disagree with people who think that they can 100% separate the art from the artist. For sure! And sometimes I’m sure the author doesn’t even realize that they are putting those opinions or views into their work, but I feel like writing sort of exposes a part of who you are, so there’s always going to be a personal aspect in it.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. This is such a thoughtful and important post, thank you SO much for writing it. I feel like it’s such a complex question to be able to separate the art from the artist completely, because the art, the author’s words, for instance, came directly from the author and a story is shaped by the author’s thougths and views and background and everything, whether they realize that they’re putting it in their work, or not.
    I think, especially as book bloggers and influencers, when we know there are eyes on us and people picking up books from our recommendations, that it’s so important to pay attention to everything happening and not to promote and support authors that, well… really shouldn’t be supported.
    Loved this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes exactly! There is so much to talk about in this particular subject, and there are lot of different situations that can all be dealt with differently.

      I agree that as bloggers it’s more important for us to make sure the books and authors that we’re promoting and supporting “deserve” our support. Having an audience gives us a certain amount of responsibility, which is why while some people might say, oh it’s fine, I can still read and like this authors book even though they did bad things, I have to think for myself if I promote this book am I harming the people the author harmed too?

      Thank you!! 💕💕

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Such a great post and definitely something to think about! I thought about this maybe two years ago when an author started attacking someone online for a bad review. It made headlines and didn’t sit well with me so I ended up taking her book off my TBR. While not quite the same level as say what Rowling as recently stated, still important to do what I can to not support the author.

    Your post also has me thinking if there’s an easy to way to know an author and what their views are on certain important topics rather than just using Google to search?

    Like

  15. ‘Silence and complacency is endorsement’ – wow, I couldn’t agree more! As book bloggers (myself included) we definitely need to be more active and conscientious in considering the voices we choose to support. Thank you for writing such a powerful post Chana ❤️ X x x

    Like

  16. You make such a good point here that supporting an author’s work IS supporting them—financially and promotionally. I have no desire to promote or help an author who is not a good person, so I think if I found out something horrible about someone who was featured prominently on my blog, I would remove them too. Sorry this happened with a series you loved!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s