Should celebrities be excluded from the #MeToo?
Not only normal people, but even celebrities get accused of sexual misconduct. For instance, recently, a handful of people accused Morgan Freeman of inappropriate behaviour. What’s more? This ‘behaviour’ has dropped him in the group of other accused celebrities, including Bill Cosby, Kevin Spacey, and Harvey Weinstein. Since April 2017, around 200 influencing people are guilty of sexual misconduct. This phenomenon has given rise to the question of whether to include this new information in judging their personalities.
Sheila Winborne and Candice Delmas are philosophy professors at Northeastern University. They are putting a lot of thought in the #MeToo movement. They have found out that #MeToo campaign is in virtually every profession since ages.
Winborne, a religious studies scholar, said, “To ensure with certainty that we aren’t watching works created by someone who abused his power, we’d perhaps have to stop watching almost everything.”
Artists, painters, rappers and authors have done a lot of wrong things that they shouldn’t have. According to Delmas, “Our museums and libraries consist of great art made by bad people”.
There are two questions to consider when one is grappling with accepting the work of living artists. Delmas tells, “One is whether we should continue consuming the work, all the while condemning the author’s conduct. The other is whether the moral condemnation of the person should affect our judgment of their work.” Boycotting the work of the accused is gaining a lot of favours. Doing so will ensure that we are creating distance from the work, and cutting off the accused’s finances. However, there is also the question of the economic interests of many of the suffered victims.
On the other hand, Winborne thinks that better education would solve this deeply rooted societal problem. Winborne makes sure that she asks her students to be conscious of the communicated message, creating a cultural feedback loop. What we need to do is break the stereotypes that people unconsciously believe and accept. According to Winborne, “We need women and men who support women’s rights as basic human rights to call for more ethical approaches behind the camera and more diversity in leadership”.