On Twitter, I follow an account called Fesshole. People can confess whatever they don’t dare sharing with people they know, anonymously. Tonight I read the following:
For backstory: the Lostprophets were a Welsh punk/rock band. Their music was really great. But their singer/songwriter – Ian Watkins – turned out to be a pedophile. He was convicted and sentenced to 29 years in prison. Rightfully so, as he showed no remorse and even blamed the women who let him touch their kids. I won’t go into details, you can find everything online if you search for the band or the singer.
As life turns, I own many of the bands albums, and I listened to them a lot for a while. After I heard about the singer’s criminal fantasies and energy, I felt sorry for the rest of the band. For years they made music and recorded albums. And really, some of their songs were awesome. It is all on Spotify, I think. And now there is one man who ruined the rest of these artists simply because they can be associated with him. They will always keep the label of the old band. “Oh so you were in Lostprophets. That’s the band with the pedophile. Sorry, we don’t want you as our bassist.”
But now I wonder, is it okay to listen to these songs knowing that one of the band members turned out to be a rapist and child molester? I mean, I would say “yes” it is okay: at the same time, I chose not to listen to any of their CDs ever since the news dropped.
Is there a way to separate the art from the artist?
I have been thinking about it for a couple of days now. I have been thinking about all the Welsh artists and bands in my collection, and they are plenty. The above tweet came as a coincidence tonight. Then again, I don’t believe in coincidences. It was the driving force to write this post; a post I have been thinking about writing for a while – in a different form.
As I stated above, I believe that one can separate the art from the artist, but… BUT does that only count if the artist turns out to be a narcissistic cunt? Am I a hypocrite for saying that I can deal with someone who is arrogant and conceited but not with a criminal? And there too: I watch Charlie Sheen on TV, listen to the odd Michael Jackson song… They dealt with similar accusations too, is it worse because Watkins was sentenced to a long time behind bars?
I believe in the good in people, that much is true.
But in this case, I am a mom of three, an educator working at a nursery with babies and toddlers, and I genuinely believe that every crime against a child deserves punishment.