Separating the Performance from Perpetrator

Exhausted Asian business woman hurt eye while using laptop computer. Young girl office worker sit on sofa feel visual fatigue and eye strain tired from overwork and massage dry irritable eye at home.

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Exhausted Asian business woman hurt eye while using laptop computer. Young girl office worker sit on sofa feel visual fatigue and eye strain tired from overwork and massage dry irritable eye at home.

What’s worse than someone ruining the ending of something for you?

Someone is ruining a work in its entirety. To be a fan of something and  someone only to have the memories tainted.  You can’t disassociate it from something sickening.

It’s not learning that your heroes are still human, it knows how awful they are. The ones front and center are leaving horrible things ahead or behind them. To begin reading something only to learn who the author was. For me, it was multiple things: Albums, movies, and entire book series became far more problematic for me to enjoy.

I keep having to update that list.  So unfortunately, it seems that I can’t run out of examples, so I’ll always add more to the list. Especially with how things are being revealed and how justice is arriving in some cases. 

For example, I wanted to know the source material for Dune. I’m an avid reader who was familiar with the adaptations instead of the original series. But I was stunned and revolted by Frank Herbert as a man and father.

I don’t think you can be excused by the time you were born or your cause. He chose how he responded to certain things in his life and his sons. He wrote a disgusting antagonist built around the assumption that gay men were just like pedophiles. He saw it as a choice and never built bridges with his son.

I think of the iconic moment in which his protagonist puts his hand in a box of agony to how Frank put his sons through lie detectors.

He punished them regardless of the result. I know he’s not alone in the duality of being a creator who can still be so crude.

Such as the one who made the wizarding world is a person of bigotry. J.K. Rowling repeated and spread transphobic comments that she defended. She is ruining so much within the ranks of her fans.

It was the first series I ever went through. The hypocrisy of the person clashes with the themes inside the books. She was making it possible to think all the potential and positivity came from the audience, not the author. One person can be the whole project  and sink it before it comes out all because of who they really are.

I think of a characters that tried so hard to keep himself in check while the man hired to be in the role didn’t do that. They carried a sickening intention that had no place in a society with morals. 

And they was just one in a  league of nightmares. I was also looking forward to a couple of other projects in terms of superhero content. I went from anticipation to apathy because of an overshadowing scandal. Now I’m in the camp of avoiding seeing certain people get back to the screen.

Especially when it concerns someone like Ezra Miller. Someone vicious, manipulative, and just gone from any standards. Others involved say it’s a good film, but it’s fair to say the project is poisoned.

I will watch it, however, with less enjoyment. But separating the content from controversy and the ugly truth will still feel worth it. Even if the feeling could be fleeting and ugly. I believe in and know people who have a similar approach.  

Like those who watch reruns of older shows despite what the people involved put others through or suffered themselves. My little sister, myself, and all of our cousins grew up watching Disney and Nickelodeon live-action shows and still try to find those episodes to this day.

The revelations of specific behavior and harassment being hidden over the years made sense. Now I feel bad when I look at their DVR.  I think of their little award show. 

I had a bunch of albums saved from my favorite band. Then only to learn what the frontman did. All I can say was that it was  bitter reality to the bizarre videos they producued. Now I have a lot of music to get rid of and no motivation to hear him collaborate with anyone. 

A little part of me, maybe more of us, wants to keep the pedestal. To be loyal who make excuses or denial. To have that dread, think of it potentially letting us down. We know what they brought to the table that can’t be replicated. But none of that is worth what people went through.

You hope there’s something good will come for those affected by this. Anyone whose hurt will be the one people defend and have sympathy for. 

Later it feels all front and center when you want this to be out of your mind. The timing is ridiculous for an actor to pull some stunt or, suddenly, every channel plays one of their roles.

Like whoever has the rights or works with the programming wants to manipulate. You’ll be wondering if they’re cashing in on this and how much they could have assisted in covering things up. I can’t speak for that. 

We know there’s acting, charm, and that  there can be real monsters.

Take the logic that worked for us as an audience. Reality and fantasy are separate concepts, so there can be a way to leave the craft unpunished. Much of that content is a source of emotion that triggered something in us. We had our heroes to root for, now it seems like they took our motivation.

If we are completely convinced we can’t enjoy it anymore they still have some status. They’re guilty but on this level we can make them pay.

Think of the infamous and formerly famous individuals as what they are, a perpetrator who should pay for their crimes unremembered.

Think of it all as a movie where you don’t care about the credits, or anything behind the scenes. It’s simple to sit down again and enjoy whatever medium it was.