Some sexual abusers made great art. Countless more of their victims never got the chance.
Of all the recent headlines concerning sexual harassment in Hollywood and beyond, the revelations about comedian Louis C.K. sexually harassing women throughout his career have most strongly reignited the age-old debate on separating an artist from their art: whether you can, and whether you should.
Someone like C.K. is different than a typical Hollywood workhorse like Brett Ratner. He’s a celebrated comic whose material has often been hailed as progressive and provocative for how it grapples with what it means for boundaries to become warped beyond recognition; his fall from grace has therefore forced many of his fans to revisit that material through a new lens, one with a context that gives its more disturbing elements a horrifying new sheen.
But at the point when the allegations against C.K. became public, I had already been poring through stories about sexual harassment, assault, and abuse for weeks. And that’s why, after seeing so many people’s default response be to question whether it’s okay to retain their fondness for C.K.’s past work, I can safely say have zero interest in this debate.
All the stories I’ve read about a man who’s been accused of using his power to belittle, subdue, or assault people — no matter who it’s about, no matter which industry it happened in, no matter when the alleged incident(s) took place — have one thing in common. They all feature victims who were intimidated, bullied, or outright forced into leaving their dreams and ambitions behind while Read More Here