Can We Still Enjoy the Art?

I’m having a hard time with the cleansing of Hollywood and everything that’s been going on, recently. I understand we should listen to the Women. We should believe them. I’m a little uncomfortable with the idea that we shouldn’t question them, though. And I wonder… How long does the accused have to sit out in this kind of a situation?

We’ve built a carefully designed criminal justice system in this country and it’s difficult to see how a lot of this isn’t side-stepping that system. Typically, if someone is accused of stealing something, they are arrested. They go to court. Their case is argued from both sides and they are either let go or sentenced to something. A prison sentence, a fine, or maybe both. But in this case, that isn’t happening. So, how does this play out?

I believe every story I’ve heard so far—even the ones against people I have been terrific fans of for years and years, for some reason. But I worry that someone, some day, is going to step over the line and a life is going to get ruined without recourse and without any end date.

Let me say this: I’ve always thought it was weird that people would want to forgive Michael Jackson because he made what they thought of a great music. I never got that. So I understand the irony of me taking whatever position this is. But, when can I laugh at Louis CK, again? When can I enjoy one of Kevin Spacey’s movies, again? I was really enjoying the Netflix series House Of Cards. He’s been turfed from that. He was turned out of the Getty movie. He’s like one of those old Soviet generals that fell from favor.

What these guys are accused of is terrible. I get that. And as I said, even though I’m fans of these and other accused men’s work, I actually do believe the accusations. But this kind of extra-legal justice leaves me wondering. When someone goes to jail, they get to come out. They pay their debt to society, they pay their fine, and the books are balanced. What happens to these guys, though? When is their time up? Or is it ever?

I have always hoped that we are not only as good as the worst thing we have ever done. But I worry that people like Louis CK may never be able to work again, without someone, somewhere, picketing, protesting, raising Hell. Tim Allen went away on drug charges and nobody gives a damn. He paid his debt. When does Louis’ slate get wiped clean?

And can I still enjoy the art? When?

American Beauty is a great movie. We may never see it again because the various networks are afraid of a backlash. And again, I get it. The Michael Jackson thing all over again. Sorry about all of those kids, what about that music, huh? I wrestle with it, I really do.

I believe the accusations made so far. I really do. But I worry it’s only a matter of time before someone decides to take advantage of this situation and go after someone who does not deserve it, someone who did nothing wrong. And how do you prove that? How do you clear your name in the court of public opinion after something like that? Or can you? I worry that we may be in for a sad, sad day of reckoning, ahead.

In the meantime, are these guys just… done, now? Or will there come a time when they are welcomed back, or at least tolerated back in the public eye once again?

I don’t know.

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