When we learned about horrible/illegal/immoral activities perpetrated by a favourite artist, what’s the appropriate reaction? Do we erase them from our lives or do we make an effect to separate the music from the person?
This is the question tackled by Mike Henry at Hypebot.
“I’m rarely stumped when a radio station client asks me whether they should play an artist or song, or not. That’s what I’m paid to do. The answer is simple, a mix of art and science. Does it sound great (art) and will listeners like it (science)? Lately, though, I’ve been baffled, and it has nothing with whether a song sounds great or listeners like it.
“A recent email from a music director read: “Where do we go from here? Clearly, this isn’t going to get easier.” He was referring to Morrissey and whether his station should play his music anymore and included a link to a recent interview where Morrissey only increased the specter of his racist views rather than thwarted them. Among his quotes that disturbed me was, “Everyone ultimately prefers their own race … does this make everyone racist?”
“All the stations I consult pulled Ryan Adams songs when it was reported that he allegedly has abused women. I agreed and openly supported their decisions. Now I ask myself, as with Morrissey, was that the right thing to do?”