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US President Donald Trump (file photo)
US President Donald Trump (file photo)

Trump's Hollywood star removal renews 'art versus artiste' debate

ANI | Updated: Jun 23, 2019 05:51 IST

California [USA], Jun 23 (ANI): The West Hollywood City Council's decision to remove US President Donald Trump's star from the Hollywood Walk of Fame has renewed the 'art versus artistes' debate, writes American lawyer Jonathan Turley in an article for The Hill.
The "art versus artistes" debate muses if we can appreciate the art by separating it from the artiste, who may be accused of committing crimes or holding problematic opinions. The best example for this can be actor Kevin Spacey being shown the door from the acclaimed web series 'House of Cards' after he was accused of sexual abuse against minors.
Turley goes on to argue that Trump is not the only one whose star deserves to be stripped off the Walk of Fame if we cannot separate the art from the artiste -- he names a dozen Hollywood icons with stars on the sidewalk who have grave allegations against their names.
"For instance, silent film actor Roscoe Arbuckle stood trial for murder after a woman died during sex. Gig Young, famous for his roles in "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" and other films, is believed to have murdered his wife and then killed himself. Michael Jackson still has his star after his child molestation trial. Errol Flynn was notorious for his preference for underage girls, whom he jokingly called his "San Quentin Quail." He faced criminal charges but was found not guilty. Charlie Chaplin faced prosecution under the White Slave Traffic Act, better known as the Mann Act," Turley writes in his article for The Hill.
The professor opines that once brilliant creations like "Pulp Fiction" (which was financed by Harvey Weinstein who has dozens of sexual abuse allegations against him) are made, "they assume a cultural life of their own."
He adds that if we stop to wonder if our views align with our artistes to appreciate their work, "our museums will be bare."
"If we must agree with the personal values of an artist to appreciate his or her art, our museums will be bare. Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was responsible for some of the greatest paintings in the history of the world. He also was responsible for numerous scandals and for killing a man in a piazza. His paintings are not suddenly mundane because we know more about him. There is no original sin that leaves viral traces on art. There is just the art itself," Turley writes.
Expressing his personal view, the American professor lastly states that he believes that art can be valued separately from the artist. He backs his belief with a quote from Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar' -- "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves." (ANI)