All Voices Matter: separating art from the artist

In+her+weekly+column%2C+All+Voices+Matter%2C+staff+reporter+Aviance+Pritchett+gives+her+take+on+social+and+cultural+issues.+
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All Voices Matter: separating art from the artist

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

Prachurjya Shreya

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

Prachurjya Shreya

Prachurjya Shreya

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

Aviance Pritchett, Staff Reporter

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A six-episode docuseries revolving R&B singer R. Kelly and the allegations against him recently debuted on Lifetime. To many, especially the older generation, this wasn’t anything new, from him being 27-years-old and marrying 15-year-old R&B princess Aaliyah Haughton to the rumors of him running a twisted sex cult in his very own home, the news that R. Kelly might be a sexual predator has been common knowledge, especially within the black community.

With the #MeToo movement still going strong, there have been calls for R. Kelly to get the Weinstein treatment, to blacklist him, stop supporting him, stop purchasing his music and tickets to his concerts. Now two Dallas area radio stations are doing just that as 105.7 and K104 announced Wednesday that they are banning all of R. Kelly’s music whether it’s him singing or something he produced.

But with every opinion there is an opposition. There’s doubt of how much water these allegations hold, despite the docuseries providing alleged proof for these accusations, as well as calls to separate the art from the artist.

The thing is, that’s impossible; you can’t separate a creation from its creator. It was made by the creator, drafted by the creator, thought of by the creator. It’s still connected to the creator, no matter how many times you try to distance one from the other. Their name is still associated with the creation.

This doesn’t apply exclusively to just R. Kelly, of course, it can apply to anyone, be it someone of high-status or someone you know. You have to acknowledge the flaws and wrongdoings instead of living in blissful ignorance. In the case of sexual offenders, it is disrespectful to the victims who were brave enough to come forward as well as the silent ones. Favoring the offender because they made a few material things that you enjoy is a meaningless, selfish reward in comparison to being selfless and standing with the people affected.

People who advocate for separating the art from the artist are people who cling to the past, the comforting nostalgia that they experience when they engage with certain content. Doing this is just a vague way of saying that they don’t care about what the creator behind it has done, it never affected them, so why should they care? What would they gain by taking out one small piece of happiness out of their long lives?

We often value things that make us happy instead of valuing others. Instead of caring for those around us, we often care for ourselves, and not in a loving, confident way, but rather in a way that seems selfish and arrogant. People are desperate to not be called out for their behavior, to the point where they use pretty phrases so it seems like their beliefs aren’t as bad as everyone else makes to out to be.

Don’t fluff up your stance with this statement: you’re either with the victims, or against them.