Boycotting Bad People [FB/BT/WMQ]
Jul 16th, 2010 by Dan

Voici mon chouchou : Mel Gibson.

Just last week it happened again. A high-profile celebrity revealed what a dirtbag he was in the most public way possible and it brings up the same question it always does. Am I supporting his/her ideologies by supporting their art? Am I a bad person by proxy?

Back around when The Passion of the Christ was released, Mel Gibson’s previous scandal arose out of him blaming Jewish people for all the woes of the world. Most everyone dismissed it as loony, drunk talk and his career wasn’t ruined, but I found myself cooled toward the actor and I started trying to avoid Mel Gibson’s work. When Apocalyptico came out, I purposely avoided it on principle.

Now Gibson is in the news again for racism, homophobia, and domestic violence and I’ve found myself repeating my vows to not consume his media. With Mel Gibson it’s easy. I have no real desire to watch his movies, old or new, so it’s kind of an empty decision of mine. It’s so empty that it actually forced me to confront the relationship I had with other “bad people” and the inconsistencies with how I’ve dealt with them.

The most prominent of these would be the author of one of my favorite book series, Orson Scott Card. In OSC’s case, I ignore his homophobia and strict, right-wing tendencies because I love his work and rationalize that it’s ok to enjoy his art without enjoying him. In other words, I’m a giant hypocrite.

It puts me in a tricky situation. Do I refuse to watch Roman Polanski movies because he raped a thirteen-year-old? I dislike Barry Bonds because he used steroids and he’s an all-around asshole, but shouldn’t I also give Hanley Ramirez a harder time for also being an asshole whose insufferable actions have embarrassed my team and caused them to lose a game here or there?

What do you readers think? Do any of you boycott people for one thing, but don’t boycott other similarly bad people? Is there a sliding scale of morality and acceptance?

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