- Sex & Drugs
- 20 Feb 18
Condemnation of actors, film directors and rock stars for what are thought of as sexual indiscretions has become almost a default position. But was the transgressive behaviour of bohemians and artists not an intrinsic part of upending gender stereotypes?
The last Johnny Depp film I saw was The Tourist. It is, as all right thinking people agree, a pretty terrible film. There’s the ridiculous plot, which takes itself far too seriously to be enjoyably camp, Angelina Jolie in full femme fatale mode, and a truly dire performance from Depp. After that, I refused to watch anything he was in, even his older films. It just made me angry to see talent being wasted. Johnny Depp – what a disappointment eh? When it came to light that Depp wasn’t simply an overpaid alcoholic with an expensive wine habit, but prone to phone-throwing, verbal abuse and alleged domestic violence, it was no hardship for me. I’d been boycotting his work for years.
But how should you react when someone whose work you love and admire gets outed as a sexual predator, a violent drunk, racist, homophobic, transphobic or abusive? Should you boycott them — or separate the art from the artist?
This is a question that has become more pressing in recent months, although rock stars, actors and Hollywood players, have been misbehaving – and engaging in criminal actions – years before the Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Louis CK revelations came to light.