Can You Still Be a Fan and Be Honest About an Artist’s Moral Failings?

On June 25th, 2009, Michael Jackson departed this earth. Known as the “King of Pop”, Jackson was and still is one of the most influential musicians of the past fifty years. He is one of the few artists whose music transcends genres and breaks barriers. One would have to have lived under a rock to not know about Jackson and his music.

His music and his image as a performer is burned into our cultural memory. We have danced to his music, sung karaoke (some of us better than others) and dressed up as Jackson for Halloween.

While Jackson is revered for his art, his moral failings are another story. Accusations of sexual abusing minors and pedophilia followed him for years, even after his passing. Earlier this year, the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland blew the door wide open about the allegations that up to that point, had not been clearly confirmed or denied.

Is there an easy answer to this question? I wish that there was. No one is perfect, we all make mistakes and have faults. However, there is a difference between having faults and molesting young children. One is natural, the other is just plain illegal.

Readers, what do you think? Can we still appreciate Jackson’s music while condemning his moral failings?

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1 Comment

Filed under Music

One response to “Can You Still Be a Fan and Be Honest About an Artist’s Moral Failings?

  1. I LOVED that you brought this question up, because it is something that is being discussed quite a bit. As someone who works in the Broadway industry, there are a lot of talented assholes. You have to find peace within your moral compass to what you are okay with. But working with a talented asshole (especially as in some cases it is fleeting, they let ego get to their heads and were young) is completely different then someone who is doing illegal things. The line has to be drawn. Talent and fame does not trump a crime. I am so happy that the Broadway community has made that stand (so far) with cancelling the pre-previews of the Broadway show about Michael Jackson.
    That said, these allegations (and so many others) have been made and known for years, and yet he still kept selling music and people looked the other way all for profit and “great” music. They in my opinion and even us as consumer are complicit.

    Liked by 1 person

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