Where Does Society Draw the Line Between Morality and Entertainment?

Demez White | 5/18/2018, 7 a.m.
The best books I’ve ever read have been autobiographies. I believe it’s because there is nothing that I or any ...

The best books I’ve ever read have been autobiographies. I believe it’s because there is nothing that I or any other writer can make up that’s more entertaining or interesting than real life. A lot of them may read like stories created by writers and a producer but these men and women lived these lives; and as much as we love their music, movies or stories we have to accept that a lot of these men and women were flawed.

Actually, let me not sugarcoat what I really want to say. These men and women weren’t flawed; a lot of them were deviants, criminals, and abusers. But because they came up in an era where social media and cameras weren’t around 24/7 we don’t view them the way we view the flawed men and women of today.

James Brown gave interviews where he was drunk and talked about beating on women. Hugh Heffner was in his 60’s dating women and moving them into his Playboy mansion when they were barely 21. Men of all ages and genres of entertainment have been bad men for a long time.

So why is that now our society is taking a stand against men that prey on or have hurt women? Of course, a lot of this can be attributed to the MeToo movement and women having a bigger voice and platform to speak out on. But I believe it’s more than that. I believe that we as a society are handpicking those men, and in some cases, women, where removing them is comfortable for us.

There is no way that any person with access to the internet can defend R. Kelly. I have read article after article detailing this man’s perversion over the years. He has been accused over and over by young girls for allegedly participating in sexual acts with them. He literally married R&B princess Aaliyah when she was 14 and a video captured what is thought to be him urinating on a young girl. I would have a better chance making people believe Donald Trump wasn’t racist before I could make a good case for why R. Kelly shouldn’t be kicked into the ocean. The problem isn’t whether he’s guilty or not, the problem is where do we draw the line?

Streaming service Spotify recently announced they are removing Kelly's music from all its playlists and algorithmic recommendations. However, they will keep his songs on the service just not promote them to subscribers. Others have been trying to get his shows canceled and tell entertainers to disassociate with him. This movement has caused a female advocacy group, Ultraviolet, to demand the removal of other artists’ music.

Ultraviolet Executive Director Shaunna Thomas wrote a letter to Spotify head Daniel Ek stating, “On behalf of our one million members, UltraViolet applauds and supports this choice.

Yet as you know, these two men are not the only abusers on your platform. We implore you to take a deeper look at the artists you promote.” Thomas referenced the Spotify’s decision to remove R. Kelly’s and XXXTentacion’s playlists.