I’m going to London again in 47 days. One of the things I’ll be doing while I’m there is taking in a play at the Garrick Theatre. The show is Romeo and Juliet, starring Lily James. The rest of the cast is pretty badass as well, plus it includes one of my all-time favorite actors, Derek Jacobi (I, Claudius). Oh, did I mention Kenneth Branagh is directing it?

I don’t know the politics of the various actors, but I did see a recent interview with Ms. James, where she said this about sexism in Hollywood:

She told the magazine: “I realised really early on, especially because I’m young, that people will take advantage. I’m very open, and I stupidly thought that people would be open and fair with me, but they’re not. I sort of found out the hard way. Of course [I’m a feminist]. I don’t even understand that question.”

Now, unless this is the first time you’ve ever read my site, you’re probably quite aware that I’m not a feminist. That’s not to say I’m anti-woman, think them incapable, or believe them to be lesser than men. I don’t believe any of those things. What I do believe is that modern feminism in the West is poisonous, dishonest, and not something I would ever want my name attached to.

Now, does Lily James feel the same way as Anita Sarkeesian or some goofball like Jessica Valenti? Well, I couldn’t say, because she didn’t really go into detail there. But, even if it turned out that she did, it wouldn’t ruin my affinity for her acting. When I evaluate an artist, I try to strictly look at the actual art they’re putting out. If it’s good, then it’s good. Their personal beliefs and political positions don’t enter into the equation.

I take it even further. For example, I love Woody Allen’s work, especially his old stuff. Some people consider him a deviant unworthy of patronage due to his personal conduct. That’s another factor that I try to avoid entering into my evaluations. (Plus, I remember him getting slimed by talking head feminists, but that’s a story for another day.)

Not everyone feels this way, though. In fact, I’ve heard it argued that supporting someone like Allen is immoral. I’ve also seen people who agree with me on feminism turn around and chastise me for supporting someone similar to Lily James, or for enjoying the new Star Wars movie.

How do you feel about this sort of thing? Am I right or are those that disagree with me right? I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a few weeks now and I’m interested to hear what the response to it is. Don’t hold back if you happen to disagree. I respect it if you do. I just wanted to get some more opinions on this issue. 

I’ll be back in a little while with more standard fare.

38 comments
  1. An artist’s personal politics I can ignore, but if the work itself is infested with SJW bullshit that’s another matter. Then again, I definitely support spreading awareness about the SJW bullshit artists put out so potential customers can make an informed decision about how to spend their money.

    1. Agreed.

      It’s important to make a distinction between the artist’s beliefs and their work…when this is possible and/or the artist in question allows such a distinction to exist. (There is indeed a difference between these two cases; some works of art draw directly from the essence of an artist–their experiences, their hopes, their likes, their loves, their dislikes, their hates, their beliefs–while the production of some other kinds of art don’t involve such derivation, or even need to.)

      When it is not possible to make that distinction/the artist does not make that possible, is a different, two-fold story. On one hand, if their beliefs are the foundation of their work in question, you’ve got to take it or leave it as it is–this is usually an honest case. On the other hand, you can have artists surreptitiously turning their works (or others’–think localization) into insidious ideological vectors.

      The sad thing about the latter case is that many people only care about getting the work of art in the first place, as opposed to not getting it at all, and enjoying it (e.g., the Fire Emblem: Fates localization controversy). As long as they have that, they do not care what they’re being fed–and that’s at least one thing that makes it so insidious.

      (I feel I’ve been rambling–hopefully all that made sense. lol)

    2. That’s what kills me, that these people spend all day on twitter talking about their politics and then they get the idea in their head that everything they do should become a vehicle for those politics.

        1. I wonder if JJ Abrams will address the over-representation of the Jewish people in the Hollywood entertainment industry via his bold new national diversity equivalency policy and fire every other Jew working there in order to achieve true equality.

  2. I think the personal beliefs of people should not taint the products of their professional work but I must admit I have a hard time doing as I preach. Sometimes I learn something about the artist whose work I previously enjoyed and I simply can’t forget about it from that moment on. I guess it’s natural.

  3. Tobey McGuire once said that he never talked much about himself because the image as an actor is really attached to the individual. Once you start doing press and talking about your life, the public perception changes and he wanted to remain a “pocket wizard” in which a director, when casting, can fit him into any role and the audience can maintain “trust” with the merging of character and performer.

    When I was younger there was a wonderful actor named Rupert Everett who played a lot of romantic leads. He came out as a gay man and we never saw him in another again. Both Hollywood and media jettisoned him. Rock Hudson, an older gay actor, had to hide his personal life until he contracted AIDS.

    Outside of performance, I personally struggle with artists such as Picasso, who battered women, and Allen Ginsberg, who wrote “The Howl” and changed poetry, and also promoted NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association). They changed art but their lifestyles, omg.

    1. Agreed, if your job is to be a reasonably blank slate that you can then paint various characters on then frankly the less you actually put out there about YOU the better. What is the most common reaction to mention of any given Tom Cruise movie during a typical conversation?

      Scientology jokes.

      Seems to me if you’re an actor or an actress what you want to be known for is your craft and your better performances and not your private eccentricities. Modern celebrities put way too much shit about themselves out there and I understand they do in part for visibility and raising their profiles but it’s counter productive after a point.

  4. I think they should keep their personal beliefs personal. when I know that there is a feminist/sjw performing/writing that art, I start to notice their beliefs being pushed and that ruins the art for me.

  5. Difficult subject, one that could only come up with actors/actresses becoming visible beyond the actual roles they play.

    Given that you usually only see their public persona, which has different constraints than veracity, I’m not even sure what they sprout is what they actually believe. I mean, in a way, they are professional liars after all.

    And from an actors’/actresses’ perspective it makes sense to get a following — they can demand more money. Also from the studios perspective, the actors’/actresses’ names might carry the movie (whatever happened to having a good story?). Plus there is likely the need to be on good graces with whichever opinion leaders that are currently relevant. So how much of what they say is actually a heartfelt belief and how much is just PR?

    But regarding the individual politics — the politics would have to be so unacceptable to me and so strongly associated with the artist that it makes it impossible to see the artist as the character of the movie. That would ruin the movie for me, because immersion wouldn’t work anymore.

    But for the artist becoming visible as the (public!) person and no longer be seen as the character — that would require pretty strong personal statements to a pretty ugly position that is not compensated by the acting talent of the person.

    It could actually turn a good actor/actress into a crappy one (for me), because the actors/actresses typecasted themselves into their public persona and made themselves unfit for any acting role.

  6. Ralph’s dick has been compromised!

    South Park references aside I personally am able to somewhat separate the artist from the role. I watched Avengers 2 despite Whedon’s cuckery. I still enjoy Arnold’s movies despite him being a political shill that spoke against violent video games.

    That being said I think it is a matter of personal enjoyment – if supporting a twat like Ben Affleck would upset you more than the joy of watching a movie with him then you shouldn’t watch the movie. When I don’t like the person, due to their political propaganda I start questioning the castings like Jennifer Lawrence and Mark Ruffalo. In this PC culture actors like this can actually influence the movie, which is never good.

  7. Interesting question.
    I’ve had the same battle in my head a few times. I guess a good example would be Donald Trump for me. I like him and I voted for him but my favorite sports team in the Chicago Cubs and obviously you’ve seen how he’s tweeted about the Cubs. It bothered me somewhat, but it didn’t deter me from supporting him in the end. I just kind of ignore how he feels about the Cubs.

    Another solid example for me would be I’m a big women’s soccer fan and I know a few of the ladies on the USWNT and they’re big time feminists and it can be a little annoying but at least their feminism makes some sense. They’re mostly just trying to earn more money and have the same accommodations at the men’s teams. So although I think the Wu, Harper, Anita, and nutjob feminism is stupid as fuck, I can understand where the lady soccer players concerns are coming from and I’ll still support them even if the LGBT and feminism tires me a bit.

  8. It’s okay for an artist to have personal politic beliefs of course, but he/she should never use the material to project and push a personal agenda and/or propaganda.

    I do have to say though that whenever I discover that an artist/creator has a personal politic (especially if it’s feminism) and he/she keeps on publicly shouting about it, it does sour the taste slightly. But I can still enjoy the work, as long as it’s not filled with blatant SJW-feminist excrement.

    Which the new Ghostbusters reboot movie seemingly aims to be.

    As for what feminism is and has done in the West? Maybe Lily James should ask the immortal Milo Yiannopoulos, skip to 0:30

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwOAmqWhf28

  9. If someone was to say they couldn’t enjoy an artist because of personal opinion or political differences that person should stop consuming all forms of art/media immediately as there’s always going to be something you disagree on. Sorry but that logic is fucking stupid.

    If the opinion is kept separate from the art, where’s the problem?

  10. I’m lucky enough that very little of the stuff I like comes from hollywood or even the west so the situation ain’t a big problem.

    Usually I’d try not to let the opinions of the people behind a thing affect my enjoyment of the thing, ideally that’s the goal, but that ain’t always possible. Subconscious bias being out of our control and all.

    But at the very least if an artist or company sucks I try to make sure not to give them any good publicity or any credit or respect (even if they might actually deserve, even if I know it, yay for shameless lies) or any financial support, or any support really.

  11. The art – the real art, not the stuff that is applauded because it is on one side or the other of the political spectrum – should stand or fall by itself.
    I noted a problem and I think it will become worse and even poisonous that the anti-SJW side will start producing “depression quest” level dreck, and yet it will get five stars from everyone here. I’m half convinced it has already started.

    The original problem GamerGate exposed was that trash was lauded because of someone sleeping with the reviewer, and that was “defended” by SJWs screeching “misogyny!”.

    It is not only possible, but not infrequent that people I wouldn’t wish to associate with or like produce great art, science, philosophy, or something else.

    The unity produced by Trump, Gamergate, etc. is precisely to judge individual THINGS by their merits, not by the politics of their origin. That is why Milo Yianniopolous and Jerry Falwell Jr. can both support Trump though they have little else in common.

    The realignment is along the libertarian – authoritarian axis. And as long as the artifact is of high quality, I can recommend it, or of low quality, I can say to avoid it, but avoid commenting on the artist.

    There might be limits, but most of the times they are pointed out are to exposed SJW authoritarian hypocrisy. They talk about rape but support certain rapists. The authoritarians need to go hang themselves.

    The libertarians should only worry about if some harm is done to some other person – kiddie porn or a snuff film would be examples, but also stolen work or one where there was unpaid bills in its production.

    And they should maintain their standards. Truth, goodness, and beauty are universal standards. They should never compromise them for someone on their side – right, left, or even libertarian.

  12. There is a limit, a breaking point if you will. I like the streamer Kripparian. I’m conservative; he’s liberal. I’m okay with that. I’m not going to crucify him for that. He’s vegan, and I’m an unrepentant meat eater (UME) according to Red Pill Philosophy, but I’m okay with that (both elements). I don’t have a problem with an artist’s position until it approaches being diametrically opposed to my own. How do I decide when it reaches that point? I continue consuming their product and let it mull over in my head. If it begins to nag at my mind too much, I dump’em. I trust my conscience.

  13. I dont give two flying fucks whether Lily James claims to be a feminist or not. Its the quality of her acting skills I care about, particularly when it comes to the works of old beloved William. The fact that she is acting in the role itself alongside another legend of the Shakespearean stage (Derek Jacobi) says enough to me. She is a talented actress whose star is on the rise (see her in the BBCs adaptation of War and Peace and tell me Im wrong) so do I give two fucks if she says she is a feminist? No.
    And that is entirely different from the annoying, whiny tweety bird voiced Emma Watson who fucking shoves her feminazi card in the publics face continually. “Taking a year off to learn more about feminism”? Make me laugh you anorexic little fuckstick. No fucking offers of work because everyone has worked out what a joyless talentless little snake you are m’dear. No War and Peace leads or bit parts for you luvvie. Not even a fucking Sainsburys commercial walk on. Your 15 minutes are long gone dear. Now fuck off and have a good old bleat about on Twatter.

    If this shadow has offended,
    Think but this, and all is mended …..
    I dont give a fuck. Harden up you whiny twat. Life sucks….wear a fucking helmet.

    1. Regarding your wonderful avatar, I really do find myself unable to enjoy FATHER TED anymore due to Graham Linehan’s repulsive SJW behaviour online.

      The fact that he’s in league with Leigh Alexander tells you everything you need to now about him.

      1. Yep I know he is a poisonous bogtrotting fecker but Ted, Dougal and Frank (and all the other crazies) were as much creations of the actors who played them, two of whom have sadly passed on to the great laugh factory in the sky.
        Im not going to let the fact that one of the writers is now a total twat spoil the wonder that was Father Ted.

      1. That was Tweety Bird Watson’s pathetic excuse for the fact that she gets fuck all offers of film or stage acting work any more after graduating from Hogwarts and failing miserably to have a long term acting career.

  14. I can enjoy a work made by an SJW but i do feel bad if i give them money, so the best course of action is piracy.

  15. There is no correct answer. There is no consistent answer beyond simply ignoring it all.

    I don’t support Orson Scott Card anymore because I support same sex marriage and same sex couples having the exact same legal rights as heterosexual couples. This is something OSC has actively worked against, and I know that every dollar I give to OSC by buying his books or watching movies based on his work goes to help him do something I am completely against.

    But.

    I am not going to research everyone I might happen to like to see if I’m going to be against something they do. And in the case of movies or other forms of entertainment that require a crew, I’m not going to do much research at all into the team itself. If I learned that a movie crew hired Jonathan McIntosh to work as Camera Operator on the next Marvel Movie, I’d still watch the Marvel movie even though I know that he’s going to get paid and he’s going to put that money towards screwing over video games.

    I don’t know how many of the authors that I like are like OSC, or are raving SJW’s. I know some of them are, thanks to Sad/Rabid Puppies. But it’s not something I am going to actively research. I’m quite happy to be ignorant about these things until it becomes a public story that invades my own personal space online (part of why I didn’t pay much attention to the Puppies was frankly I just didn’t want to think about more of my favourite authors like I think about OSC; I own pretty much every novel he published prior to 2000 (no political reason at that time; I didn’t like the Shadow of Ender books, and how he kept on tinkering with the Ender series in general, so I just stopped reading.) but I can’t bring myself to buy anything else by him now.

    If it becomes a public outrage, or comes to my attention otherwise, I’ll decide then. But I’m not going to go out and look for something to be outraged over.

    1. Orson Scott Card is an interesting case. As he got more politically motivated his novels definitely suffered for it, I remember one scene where he had Bill O’Reilly as a character that just made me cringe.

  16. I’m a mixed bag when it comes to this issue. Some entertainers I can know about their personal opinions/politics, disagree and still enjoy their work. Others end up rubbing me the wrong way and I can’t stand them at all, regardless of their performance. But then I can also have both of the same deals with people that have similar opinions/politics to my own.

    In other words, some entertainers are talented enough for me to not care about their real life just their performance and others just suck.

  17. I am a little uneasy about calling an actor an artist, if anything they are just paint. An actor’s politics or personal opinions on anything are generally unwelcome not that they don’t have a right to them but their stock and trade is pretending to be someone else, It is seldom that you get to know so much about a person that you don’t look back fondly to the time when they were a mystery.

    Where an artist truly screws up is when they explain their art. Either their art did not convey anything and thus needs explanation to be appreciated or they are negating the unique connection an individual makes with the art. It is like saying the experiences and imagery that you attach to this piece are wrong, you must feel what I feel.

  18. I came to terms a long time ago with the fact that the overwhelming majority of artists I like are complete libtards.

    I read their moronic anti-Trump/pro-Bernie bullshit on a daily basis but still have to hold onto my love for the work they produce. Not only that, but no small number of them have blocked me on Twitter for daring offer an opposing view on some issue or other.

    Some make it REALLY difficult to support, such as Patton Oswalt who’s Twitter rampages against Republicans and Trump supporters are relentless and vile in a way that only a liberal celebrity can get away with.

  19. Depends, really. In a lot of cases, I can just enjoy the media without giving a fuck who created it. I’m not really one to pay attention to credits, but there are some big names that even I’m familiar with. That said, if someone like Shigeru Miyamoto were to suddenly come out and proclaim himself a blind supporter of Anita Sarkeesian, I’d be greatly concerned and hope the quality of his games doesn’t decrease, but I’d hold respect for the guy nevertheless. The guy’s responsible for some of my best experiences over the last 25+ years, even a fuck-up as major as that won’t sway me to completely condemn him and everything he makes. In short, he has credentials.

    Now, compare this to something like Fez. Do I think the game looks fun? It seems possible if I give it a chance. Am I willing to give it that chance? No. Really, I and several others only heard about the game in the first place because of all the forced drama surrounding it, with its creator being a total dipshit who acts as if he’s some god-given savior of the gaming industry just for this ONE GAME that somehow received a lot of attention from journalists and apparently won some awards (which, in both cases, is now pretty much proven to have been rigged). It really doesn’t help that several alternatives to such a game exist, more than enough so that I could easily pass this one title up and not give a shit. Fish’s journalist buddies keep going on about how “unique” and “innovative” this game is…. what a load of crap. The playstyle has been done before, and being “retro” was over-done even back then (not that simply having oversized pixels is what really makes a game “retro” in the first place, you fucking shills). Really, if all these outlets weren’t gushing about the game for all the wrong reasons and its creator wasn’t a total douchebag, maybe, just maybe there’s a chance I’d have stumbled upon this game naturally and I could pass it fair judgement. Since such wasn’t the case, though, I feel like deliberately avoiding this game even if someone paid me to play it. Unlike Miyamoto (and a lot of the other Japanese developers who apparently “suck”), Fish had zero credentials, and his attitude combined with the conflicts of interest he invoked in the indie scene, as well as his involvement in the Quinnspiracy, just caused those credentials to lower significantly into the negative numbers.

  20. I agree with you about keeping the two separate, unless their politics infest their art, ala JJ Abrams & TFA.I like John Boyega, Daisy Ridley & Oscar Issacs, but I hated their characters. Especially Mary Rey Sue, I mean Rey.

  21. I can think someone’s an idiot, but still be entertained by them, I mean let’s be real, idiots used to be court entertainers.

  22. BTW, if you’re a Queen fan (and if you’re not, go sit in the corner) pick up tickets to We Will Rock You at the dominion, it’s a good show.

  23. I gotta agree. I care not for someone’s personal beliefs; I’m only concerned with what they’re producing and how they carry themselves while promoting said products.

  24. a artist can have whatever politics that they want i don’t care now there’s a caveat to that and it is as long as they don’t force their politics into their work.

  25. Good art is good art, with or without its politics,,,Picasso’s Gurnica (mispelled probably) , his abstract painting of th’ carnage of th’ war in Spain springs to mind, as does Orwell’s 1984, a shitload of 1960s music, that I politically might not be onboard with, but enjoy, like most of Bob Dylans stuff,,,i tend to dislike a lot a far right political talk shows on the radio, except for The Savage Nation,,,he is an excellent host, consumate storyteller, and occaisionally funny and he’s well educated…and he hasnt budged my inner politics one single jot,,,on the other hand, if the politics bleed over the art so clumsily, like the GG SVU episode then,,,oh wait, that was entertaining as hell, but because it was SO badly done, like a modern Ed Wood flick,,,(DID YOU CALL CHRIS KLUWE A FAG ON TWITTER?-best meme pic of that in my personal opinion)… So,,,yes and no,,,you’ll just have to see it and judge it on its own merits or lack of,,,which we know you will right here,,,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.