Jennifer Laughran has a great post up about what happens when an artist you admire turns out to be a jerk (or worse). Can you separate the art from the artist? I’ve posted about this question before, but I think Jennifer handles the topic really well. In reference to Orson Scott Card and Ender’s Game, she says:
“Do I want to line OSC’s pockets with gold? Heck no. I don’t pay for his books anymore, personally (though I certainly did as a kid). If somebody asks me what I think of him, I’ll say this: He is a very good storyteller. Ender’s Game is probably one of my most re-read books of all time. He’s excellent at starting series (less successful at finishing them). He’s extremely problematic personally/politically.”
I think the “extremely problematic” is key here. Usually, if you liked an artist’s work enough to be deeply upset at their personal failings, it’s hard to cast aside that art. There are some artists I try to make excuses for, or at least ignore their personal issues and focus on the art itself. For others, I refuse to read/watch/listen to any of their work after finding out something awful about them. But as Jennifer says, people are extremely problematic, and so it’s hard to have one clear response to this issue.
Make sure to click through and read Jennifer’s full post. The comments are also very interesting.