Another day, another scandal.
It seems like every day there is a new celebrity scandal. Usually, a scandal will blow over when a new one comes out. Some are just petty feuds, but when it comes to the issue of a sexual assault, that should not be taken lightly.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, abbreviated as SAAM. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center's website, SAAM is about "both awareness and prevention of sexual assault, harassment and abuse."
Many celebrities who have either been accused of sexual assault or found guilty of it have gotten a free pass from their fans.
There is a moral dilemma one must face when it comes to supporting your favorite artist’s work, but not their actions. I think a line can be drawn between the two, but the issue should not be pushed aside. It is necessary to address the wrong that has been done.
Making an example out of a celebrity who has been accused of this serious issue could show people how prevalent the problem with sexual assault is in the world.
Recently, rapper French Montana was accused of sexual misconduct. An anonymous woman is suing him for sexual battery. The woman said that she was drugged and raped at French Montana's home in California.
According to entertainment magazine People.com, other women have also faced similar situations where they were assaulted in Montana's home. The anonymous woman suing French claimed he would target women who he invited to his recording sessions, then he would allegedly supply women with drugs and alcohol with the intentions of engaging in sexual acts with them, whether it was consensual or not.
Frustratingly, this allegation may not even faze his fans. Historically, die-hard fans have been able to overlook the flaws in their artist's actions because of their love for the content the artist produces. What is most disappointing in this situation is that there will likely be little repercussions on Montana's career. Rappers have been accused of similar allegations and found guilty, but still gone on to have success in their careers.
Whenever I hear about Chris Brown, I always associate him with his violent actions against Rihanna. In 2009, he was convicted of felony assault after he violently assaulted his former girlfriend Rihanna according to a CNN article.
Brown has since addressed and apologized for what he did, but he will always be associated with the violent altercation. Overall, his career has not been severely impacted in the long run. Brown is still making millions and has die hard fans. It is OK to still enjoy his music, but fans should be careful not to defend his actions.
R. Kelly is an extremely famous and successful artist, but now he is infamous for the multitude of sexual assault accusations and convictions against him after the Netflix documentary Surviving R. Kelly was released in January of 2019.
For more than 20 years, Kelly has had been accused of predatory behavior, especially toward teenage girls. He is facing multiple state and federal charges in the United States, that include accusations of sexual assault and abuse of a minor, according to a New York Times article.
These are incredibly heinous charges and have had detrimental effects on his career. Over the past two decades, he has faced many allegations. Now, R. Kelly is getting punished for what he has done and is sitting in jail according to the Associated Press. The consequences that his actions have had on his career were long overdue.
Most people no longer think of his music when they hear R. Kelly, they think of his crimes. This is how it should be.
When a celebrity is accused of sexual assault, it oftentimes may or may not affect the success of their career. This depends on how their fans react to it. Some dedicated fans will stand by their favorite artist no matter what. However, in cases like sexual assault or criminal violence, the loyalty of a fandom needs to relinquish to morality.
The only way to support artists who have been accused of sexual assault or misconduct should done through separating the art from the artist. The music can stand alone from the actions of those accused, and if it is the choice of a fan to still listen to the music that they enjoy, that's their own prerogative. However, blindly supporting an artist's actions after they have been accused or even convicted should not be taken lightly.
Fans must draw a line between the work of an artist and their questionable actions. Sexual assault should not be brushed off or defended. It is OK to still listen to French Montana, Chris Brown and R. Kelly if you enjoy their music, but do not defend their actions because you are a fan of their art.