Is it responsible to support someone's product but not the person?

This is for the Michael Jacksons, Ray Lewises, Elliot Spitzers, Stevie Cohens and Kanye Wests in the room. I’m sure there are tons of other famous people we could discuss, but should you listen to someone’s music, cheer for them, vote for them or invest with them? Is it responsible to support someone’s final product without supporting the person behind the work?

I personally detach someone’s personal life from their career. Does anyone feel differently? What are your reasons?

Depends on how much I like their product vs what they did. I still listen to MJ’s music because it’s awesome. I hate Chris Brown and would never support him or his music. So, yeah, not really sure.

I think a person is built on character. A person’s character is reflected in their work and in their lifestyle out of work. Imo, to detach one’s personal life from their career is a mistake if there are major discrepancies bc that can be a prescient to their future career work. As an example, consider a PM that is managing a portfolio with the mantra of conservative large cap stocks. Outside of work, he happens to be a complete degen and has been known to gamble excessively in black jack and other casino games. I am a firm believer that eventually this hypotethical person’s character will dictate their performance and eventually they will invest in some speculative plays which would go against the fund’s thesis.

On the other side, Bill Clinton was a great President…who cares what he did with Monica? Yea he cheated on his wife with an intern, which is low, but I don’t think that affected his ability to boost our economy and run the country. I’d vote for him if he could run again.

haha - i figured you would make a point like this. Leaving absent he is married to Hillary (subjected to hell on earth) his character is flawed and therefore you can’t trust him. Did he sell invaluable weapon manuscrips abroad? Did he place the american people’s long term future ahead of short term gains?

I dont want to go further because this will divert from the original concept and go more towards a political debate.

I think a useful standard is violence (actual and threatening it, taking a rather expensive view). For instance, if someone who participated in a genocide created some incredible art (painting, sculpture, novel, music, movie, etc. a rather expansive view of art again), then unless it is a piece of art critical of their earlier actions I may not be inclined to purchase it since I would be supporting a person who is responsible for genocide. Obviously, a small amount of hard to prove violence is different from if you tried to buy one of Hitler’s paintings. Further, the wrong is supporting the lifestyle of someone who has committed violent acts. So it’s wrong to buy one of Hitler’s paintings from Hitler, but not wrong to buy one from an Intermediary when none of the money goes to Hitler.

The other difficult situation is if there is someone who actively promotes a political agenda that could be considered harmful to groups of people. Supporting this person will lead them to have more money to support a harmful agenda. You could consider this the Orson Scott Card situation. It depends on how much more likely that person’s political goals are actually realized by the marginal amount of money that they will receive from my purchase. I suspect that is near 0% for OSC and for the upcoming Ender’s Game movie, so I plan on seeing it.

What I’ve written applies to circumstances where the work of art is judged by most people to be good, but the person is bad. So I’m not considering the issue of a novel that advocates violence against black people, or some such non-sense.

Outside of these cases, I don’t really care at all about the personal lives of artists. Kanye West hasn’t meaningfully hurt anybody. He may do things that are completely insane, but I judge his music on its merits. When it’s good, I listen.

Reputation takes a lifetime to build and a second to destroy.

I don’t listen to music to support a “product”, i do it because i like it! so when i don’t support the product, i don’t support the person

i think it can be viewed separately.

I don’t like kayne west and any of his public actions but i like his music.

Same with eminem, nicki minaj, katy perry… wow actually all of these pop singers i do not like but don’t mind their music every once in a while.

so my point is, i am old enough to not idolize pop icons and just listen to the music and give it life and meaning for myself.


Regardless of how you want to phrase it - music is a product. if you’re listening to it and telling your friends “HI GUYZ THIS SONG IS KEWL” then you’re supporting it. The question is, would you not tell people or not listen to it just because of a person’s personal life?

Are you supporting the product if you don’t pay for it?

If you tell a single soul that you enjoy that music you are supporting the product.

We work in finance bro, does that mean we can tell anyone we want and avoid supporting the product?