The quote to consider is at the end of an article reporting on revelations in a new book about musician Lou Reed. It seems Reed was racist, vulgar and probably a serial abuser of women. The author said to The Daily Beast:
The obituaries were a bit too kind, he was really a very unpleasant man. A monster really; I think truly the word monster is applicable.”Here's the quote to consider from the website Uproxx:
One of the most uncomfortable aspects of loving art is knowing that some of the most brilliant work was made by some of the worst human beings.There have been books and theses written about this issue, of course. The most common issues often relating to substance abuse and addiction, but we do know that being a great artist (or anything else for that matter) does not make one a good person. Many of them no doubt were monsters- or worse. It is a struggle, then, to look at, read, or listen to high quality art by low-quality people.
The Academy Awards faced this a number of years ago when Roman Polanski was nominated and won for best director for The Pianist. He could not- and did not- attend since he is a fugitive in the United States wanted on charges of sex with a minor.
What then are we to do?
Sorry, I am only asking the question. I have no easy answer. If only moral people were making great works of art, that would be a no-brainer. Who decides what is moral? Some appear clear, yet I wonder about others. What happens when people are accused of being "monsters" in other ways? That brings to mind the McCarthy-era witch hunts and blacklists. The movie Trumbo starring Bryan Cranston will raise that question. When the powers-that-be decide what is moral or immoral by political means, we can be in a difficult position.
Slippery slopes can be found just about anywhere.