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EDITORIAL: We cannot excuse artists who have violated women



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A famous rapper is raking in the money and climbing the Billboard Top 100 despite charges  of aggravated assault against his girlfriend. Which rapper is this? The fact that we had to ask, and that multiple men could fit this description, is the issue. 

Despite public records of these men being convicted of aggravated assault, domestic violence and rape, rappers and other men in the entertainment business have lost nothing. Their songs and movies continue to collect royalties, and people are still listening to songs and watching movies created by people who have histories of violence against women. 

The Editorial Board thinks that we should be taking this a little more seriously. 

Dating back to Chris Brown’s 2009 arrest and conviction, violence against women has been present in the entertainment business. Recently, rapper Kodak Black was arrested with a rape charge. He was jailed because of a probation violation with no additional time for the rape. 

New XXL Freshman Class rapper XXXTentacion is currently on trial for gross battery and sexual assault against his pregnant girlfriend.

This is public knowledge, so it's disheartening that people are still supporting the art of creators who can’t respect others.

There is a fine line between “separating art from the artist,” and that line needs to be drawn at violence against others, especially against women. Listening to a Britney Spears song, even though she had a traffic accident, is much different than listening to and defending men who have beaten and raped women with little or no consequence. 

When you defend listening to Kodak Black’s “Tunnel Vision,” Chris Brown’s “Party,” or XXXTentacion’s “Revenge,” you implicitly deny that they have committed deplorable crimes and further promote their names, padding their bank accounts. 

Woody Allen has been accused of molesting his adopted daughter Dylan O'Sullivan Farrow for years on end, but when his other daughter Ronan Farrow spoke out to actors who were working with Allen, she was met with criticism. 

Ignoring the disgusting convictions of these men only because they are famous and arguably create good art is an insult to rape survivors and the women in these abusive situations. 

The fact is that the world would go on if the radio did not play Chris Brown. If Woody Allen never made another movie, no one would die. The world has so much beautiful art created by moral, decent individuals that we lose nothing by not consuming art from the celebrities who have violated the women in their lives. 

When you excuse these actions for A-Listers, you excuse the actions of the people in mainstream society committing these crimes, too. Donald Trump was caught on video admitting to assaulting women and was still elected president. 

Why do we ignore these deplorable actions in favor of “a good party song” or a “timeless classic movie”?

If the people that millions of adolescents are looking up to can assault women and get away with it, that is sending a horrible message. In order to combat rape culture, we need to hold everyone who commits these crimes accountable, regardless of their social stature. 

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