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tonedef's avatar

Is it harder for you to appreciate an entertainer who contributes money to a hostile candidate?

Asked by tonedef (3930points) October 3rd, 2008

If you absolutely do not agree with a candidate’s policies, and you find out that one of your favorite authors/television personalities/musicians donates money to that politicians’ political career, does it change your appreciation of that artist? How you interpret their work?

This is inspired by arguments I’ve heard about Wagner, and how he was a racial supremacist. A lot of my friends (especially Jewish friends) refuse to listen to his work.

Curious about contributions your favorite entertainers have made? You can check on Newsmeat.

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15 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

The professor next door to me is Jewish and he teaches Wagner. The work is good and important, he says.

I think it is fine to enjoy a person’s work, while hating the things they believe. It’s not hypocrisy.

blastfamy's avatar

Should a comedian’s political affiliation affect how funny they are?

Disliking a person because he supported someone you don’t seems childish to me…

marissa's avatar

Only if it were an extreme situation. For example if I found out a favorite (living) author sent money to the KKK, I would not buy his/her books, because I would not want to give them more money to send. However, if it is not extreme (for example different political views), it wouldn’t make a difference to me. I have family that vote differently than I do, but I still love them. In regards to works of those that are dead, I take the work for what it is not for the views of its creator.

critter1982's avatar

I agree with Marissa. I used to watch Tom Cruise movies but now since he is such a huge advocate of Scientology it has really turned me off towards him. I’d rather not have my money go towards the teachings of Scientology.

eatmunky's avatar

I am 100% of the opinion that it’s a bad idea for a musician or group to get into politics. 3 Major reasons:

1. Supporting a candidate is one thing. But it irks the shit out of me when celebrities think that their fame gives them autority. Sean Penn has no more right to talk politics than I do, so why does he act like he knows what he’s talking about.

2. Music is something separate from politics. Music for me is supposed to be an art form, speaking without speaking, able to convey emotions by showing them to you, and overall it’s supposed to be something above normal reality. And politics is about as real as you can get. The two should stay separate. Like Church and State, A politician will allow theyre religious beliefs to be known, but beyond that they won’t say a thing. They won’t preach, or try to convert people. Musicians should be the same with their politics. Letting people know who they support when they are asked is fine, but beyond that keep your g*ddamn mout shut.

3. From the point of view of a musician, it just seems stupid. By expressing strong political opinions or trying to tell everyone who disagrees how wrong they are, you are automatically alienating a large chunk of your fan base that had no issue with you before you started talking politics. My absolute favorite band, the national, recently began supporting Obama overtly, selling Obama t-shirts with the text “Mr. November”, the title of one of their songs. Actually, my favorite song of theirs. Now everytime I hear that song I think Obama, and it drives me fucking ape shit. That song meant so much more to me, it’s about the hardships and stresses of being a human being while president of the united states. It’s just really moving, and insightful. But now that it’s associated with a candidate it just takes away all of the interpretive value of it. They haven’t lost me as a fan, but I’m definitely having trouble feeling as close to their music as I once did.

marinelife's avatar

Normally, I ignore the opinions of entertainers about politics. In extreme cases, such as the example Marissa gave, I would probably avoid that entertainer and their work. One personal example for me is that I used to read books by Anne Perry, a mystery author.

Once I learned that she and her best friend were convicted for murdering the best friend’s mother, I stopped reading her books. I did not want to buy them. I did not think she should profit after that crime.

SuperMouse's avatar

I almost hate to admit it, but it can sway my opinion. I will never watch any movie with Charlton Heston because of his views on gun control and his actions after the Columbine massacre. I lost respect for Jon Voight, Chuck Norris, and Kelsey Grammar when I heard they were all McCain supporters.

When it comes right down to it, I think entertainers should keep their political opinions to themselves. Just because someone is well-known, doesn’t mean their opinion holds more sway than mine.

augustlan's avatar

@eat and Super: I see your points about keeping their views to themselves, BUT…if you truly believed your political views were important ones, and you were famous, wouldn’t you use the platform of your fame to get your message out?

eatmunky's avatar

@august: It depends what I was famous for. If I was someone who people look to for opinions then of course, but as an entertainer, my expertise would have nothing to do with politics, and I wouldn’t want to talk about it. I honestly think it’s just a bad idea for people who’s careers rely on a fan base, if nothing else. I mean, this whole thread just goes to show how people are affected by celebrities’ political views. If my job is to entertain, why would I want to push away many of the people I’m trying to entertain with something that has nothing to do with entertainment?

If something really mattered to me, there are ways to support that specific cause without being political in which fame would come in handy. Like a charity event or something of the sorts. I’ve never been put off by a musician or celebrity participating in a charity event or awareness fund raiser or something. Stating specific political affiliations is making a big general statement about lots of different views combined. If I found out a celebrity supported publicized health care by attending an awareness rally or something, that means I disagree with them on one thing. But like Regina Spektor on Conan last night, associating your persona with a politician or political party totally colors you one way or the other, and is bound to push fans away.

deaddolly's avatar

No, everyone has a right to believe what they want to or support who they want..even if they’re full of shit.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I dont find it nearly as hard to appreciate someone who contributes to a hostile as i do when i find out they are a Scientologist. It knocks them down so many cool points in my book. Like i can never watch That 70’s show and think of Danny Masterson or Leah Remini on King of Queens the same way after i found out they were scientologists.

critter1982's avatar

@uberbatman: Damnit I liked That 70’s show and King of Queens. I’m just going to ignore you said that.

tonedef's avatar

I don’t really see the distinction that makes one situation more “extreme” than another- is scientology really on the same “extreme” plane as murdering someone? This question HAS been answered through the many varied responses and the answer seems to be…

“Yes, it affects my opinion, but I wish I’d never known in the first place,” Which I think is really interesting.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@tonedef it effects my view of them because scientoligists IMO are batshit crazy and are members of a cult.

critter1982's avatar

@tonedef: My comment was not intended to be taken literally. And no if I had to be in company of a scientologist or a murderer I would likely choose the scientologist. I was not attempting to make a distinction between those particular two. uber puts it pretty plain and simple though, scientology is a cult. Do some research into scientology and you will soon find that it is nothing else but a ruthless scam aimed at taking individuals money to promote itself and the leaders within.

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