StagFash - Yes. That was the point I was trying to make, but didn't verbalize it well (i.e. regarding separating an author from their work).
I'm not shocked when I read a book written in the 19th century (even 20th) that includes certain wording or descriptions. Or when an author's biases come to light, or when it turns out they are a major tool.

I definitely don't excuse it, but I don't toss the book aside. It does help me understand the biases and barriers my forebears dealt with. Of course I have my limits.

As far as celebrity/sports star behavior - for sure I'm ready and able to say buh-bye to them and their antics.

Suz, thanks for clarifying about rudeness and explaining about artists. I’m not sure I’m willing to leave adjuncts out of the conversation though, given that they’re the majority. That statistic shocks me too—I knew there were a bunch, but then I looked it up https://www.newfacultymajority.....-adjuncts/

Sloper, I think we are talking about different things on athletes—I would be delighted for my son to be either of the young men in this article that I pulled up more or less at random from that magazine https://www.theplayerstribune......owboys-nfl I hear you on the rest. For me, it’s not so much about what people went through as it is to inform thinking about how we ought to proceed and shape our world now. But that’s because of our different histories.

SF, I know -- I've been an adjunct for all my university teaching life, so believe me, I understand the horrors!! I was just speaking, in this instance, as an artist -- and since I fill both roles, I think I can say on pretty good authority that the demands on artists are egregious in a different way. Not necessarily worse, but unique. And part of what makes them unique is that people --even well-meaning people -- honestly have no idea!

I really appreciate everyone's comments. So much to think about...

I do agree that it is somehow easier to "overlook" the negative traits of long-dead artists than it is for contemporaries. I am not sure why that is. Perhaps it is, as mentioned by Janet, Lisa and slim cat, the idea of financially supporting that sort on nonsense seems more immediate and impactful? Like chewyspaghetti referenced, my daughter, too, used to adore Harry Potter, but no longer wishes to support Rowling's work. Not that it matters at this point, as the whole Harry Potter machine has made unbelievable amounts of money, but I wonder if we will see its popularity fade in the future as the young people of today take issue with Rowling's views and choose not to purchase the books and movies and products for their own children.

And while I certainly understand that some people idolize sports figures (like Sal warns against) or famous people - especially those that are popular for children or young people - I guess I have never felt that artists, authors or creators had to be held to a higher standard, as Carla says. Indeed, I find it incumbent upon everyone not to say stupid things in public, not make racist jokes, etc. I am not outraged when I find that prominent people or even people I admired are selfish, arrogant or even cheating on their spouses. It might sadden me, but people are people, and no one is perfect (or nice all the time to their adoring public). This part ties in with the responsibilities of certain groups of people that Suz talks about - just like scientists are expected to review papers from others without compensation, dealing with fans is part of being a celebrity. Yes, it might be awful and annoying to have people always wanting your picture, but it must also be nice to be paid millions to be an actor. No one is in a good mood all the time, but it is part of the responsibility of the job to a certain extent. But it is most certainly NOT their job to read manuscripts, read potential screenplays, or otherwise donate their time and talent to those interested in their help. My daughter is an artist and reinforces the idea that art (whether that be sketching, painting, writing, making movies, metalwork, sculpture, weaving baskets, carving, etc.) is the artist's labor. Because others sketch or journal for fun doesn't mean that those skills are not worthy of value and compensation. I very much agree with Suz that people have unrealistic expectations of those in many fields of work.

But now I am just meandering. Back to Lovecraft. I guess I just wish I knew what to DO with the fact that he was a dreadful human being. I/we/society really can't stop purchasing anything that was influenced by his work because almost everything in certain genres was influenced by (or even blatantly copied from) his work. He had no descendants, so none of the money is going to support him or his family personally (indeed, he lived in extreme poverty during his lifetime), so is there any purpose in even trying to avoid it?

Oh, and regarding the gaming culture (especially video games), there is no question that it remains the domain of the young, white, misogynistic (and often racist, anti semitic and homophobic) male. However, the people who PLAY the games don't determine the how amazing or lame a particular game is in its lore. And RPGs not played in the video realm depend almost completely on the DM/GM and other players. The lore that Lovecraft inspired is deep and amazing.

Perhaps I should just take it as inspirational that so many wondrous things came from such a vile man? Indeed, Suz, it is very, very complicated.

Oh, and Sloper, those essays are AMAZING. And, of course, there's Lovecraft right at the top.

Echo, way to round up the conversation! You are a brilliant teacher. And just to ask this question with such deep heart is to be a model to students and others. Thank you.

Echo, not sure I understand what you mean about separating people who play a game from the culture surrounding a game. They didn’t write the story and might not know all the richness, but surely the most damaging effects are the ones that are absorbed sub-consciously about what it is or isn’t ok to do, who is or isn’t “regular people”, etc.

One thing I think we’ve all agreed on in the thread is that artists shouldn’t be held to a higher standard, but should also not somehow be given a free pass for egregious behavior.

I haven't read Lovecraft, but definitely wouldn't go out of my way to support anyone who has white supremacist views.

Oh, I get so much of this. We are friends with some musicians and performers who have certain levels of celebrity. I’ve seen the way that sometimes they just don’t want to be bothered in certain times, and it can look like they’re just acting like assholes. That is one thing, and I’m not too inclined to hold it against them.

But then, as a 20-year-old hotel front desk supervisor, I had a notable composer who shall remain nameless, (even though he is now dead), call me and the staff I worked with a nasty enough slur that I informed him I would only listen to his complaint once he was able to express it without using such language. I was shaking when I hung up the phone, expecting to be fired, but our GM backed me up. Soured me on his work ever after. He was just plain a jerk.

I was never able to bring myself to play Michelle Shocked on my radio program after her anti-gay remarks many years ago, despite being a fan of her music.

There are certain repercussions from holding or expressing polarizing views when you have a level of fame. It cuts both ways. Look at what happened with the Dixie Chicks after they denounced Bush (fwiw, I’ve never been a fan of their music, but I respected that they took a stance they believed in, even though it put them at odds with a significant portion of their fan base).

But if I find out an artist/author/musician is actively supporting hateful views, I will actively stop supporting them.