supporting celebrities that are criminals
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Ignorance Is Not An Excuse For Supporting Criminal Celebrities

Claiming to separate the art from the artists is not a valid justification for supporting dangerous criminals, and we shouldn't treat it as such.

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Josh Sorenson

Why is it that when celebrities commit heinous crimes there is often still enormous amounts of support for them from fans? How can people think that separating the artist from the art is a valid justification for why you might purchase music made by someone who has committed a terrible act? There seems to be a lot of people who have convinced themselves that they can do this without any personal moral implications, but I could not disagree more.

In our society, we place celebrities up on a pedestal. We turn them into our personal idols and masses of people look up to them and although I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with that, these people are in positions of power, and they need to be held accountable. It is unacceptable for us to idealize individuals in popular culture in a way that we fail to react appropriately to their wrongdoings.

This year there have been a couple of incidents that have stood out to me in regard to highly publicized criminal celebrities receiving startling amounts of support after their crimes were known to the public. I'm not talking about misdemeanors or minor infractions here, these are people that are dangerous members of society, people that no longer deserve to be idols and role models.

The case of rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, who pleaded guilty in 2015 to using a 13-year-old girl in a sexual performance, which was video recorded and later distributed online, comes to mind. It is well known that this man is guilty of using a minor in a sexual act and participating in child pornography yet continued to rise to fame in 2017 and 2018. Despite all this, he managed to land on the charts with one of his singles in 2017 and recently collaborated with Nicki Minaj on another popular song. When I was celebrating Halloween this year, I was truly taken aback to see that people went as far as to dress up as him, as if that was acceptable in any way especially since his legal issues have been heavily covered by the media these past few months.

There was also the case that became heavily publicized this summer with XXXTentacion who was killed in June. The musician had previously beat his gay juvenile detention cellmate within an inch of his life in a homophobic attack, and leading up to his death, was facing charges for beating his pregnant ex-girlfriend. He was accused of doing brutal things that I honestly don't care to repeat. I am of the opinion that every death is a tragedy and that no one deserves to lose their life, but what shocked me was the tremendous amounts of people that went out to pay tribute to him, creating massive memorials and acting as if he had lived his life as someone to admire and look up to.

I genuinely find it horrifying when I see people continue to support celebrities that abuse their power to harm others and break the laws that are created to keep us safe. Perhaps some of these fans have failed to keep up with news about these individuals and simply aren't really aware of their situation. However, even if this is the case, and honestly, I really doubt it is, does that really give someone a free pass? I don't think so.

I am a strong believer that as consumers, we have a responsibility to educate ourselves and know who and what we are supporting. I cannot separate the art from the artist because every time I listen to a song, stream a music video, or even just dress up as someone for Halloween, I am providing that person with the support they need to maintain their position of power. I am providing them with the fiscal and social support that will keep them afloat and reassure them that what they have done is fine by me. It is not fine by me when a man abuses a woman of any age or by any means. It is not fine by me when a celebrity, or anyone for that matter, threatens another person's safety. It is not fine by me when people act like it doesn't matter what horrible things a person has done because they make good music.

Stop giving these people exactly what they are looking for. Get educated on these issues and check yourself before you decide to prop up someone who doesn't deserve it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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