Saturday Catch-up: Weinstein, R. Kelly, and Art vs. Artists

With Weinstein turning himself in, remind yourself of the still unpunished horror show that is R. Kelly.

Jim DeRogatis was on the NYT’s Popcast this week talking about his long running coverage of the allegations against R. Kelly. If you haven’t already, see his Buzzfeed work in particular. It is shocking.

Beyond the story itself is the debate amongst media consumers of if / can / how we should separate a person’s art from their actions?

Further, can / should a critic comment on non-art related actions when critiquing their art?

Jim’s answer that (paraphrased) if the questionable actions show up in the art then it’s all fair game is probably the best answer I’ve heard.

I see that response as answering both questions. If the action in question is part of the performance, then that reminder, no matter how subtle, can make it difficult to support critically and as a consumer.

For more insight from Jim on the artist vs. the art, see the Sound Opinions episode from 2017 of the same title.

There’s plenty of nuance here, but that’s what makes it a conversation worth having – not ignoring.

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