Tell Me Something Tuesday was hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings, but she has (temporarily?) stopped blogging. So a group of us that had been doing posts (Linda from Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell, Karen from For What It’s Worth, Roberta from Offbeat YA, Jen from That’s What I’m Talking About and me) decided to get together, come up with some more topics and keep the meme going.Michelle made us a logo and we’re off and running. For more details, check out this post where I reintroduced the meme.
I can be sporadic, but when I do join in I will always share next week’s topic at the end of the post. So, today is about…
Do authors/narrators actions, political beliefs, etc impact your view of their work?
Ok, this may be controversial but my answer is YES. Absolutely. It has separated me from a few authors and narrators actually.
I understand the work is separate from the person and can be enjoyed that way. I won’t judge you for enjoying an author/narrator that I can’t get behind because I do get that.
For me, I stand pretty strongly by my convictions and to financially support someone who’s actions or beliefs are something that I find abhorrent… I cant’ do that. Notice I said abhorrent. This isn’t a matter of simple disagreement. I’m okay with that. I’m talking if I knew them personally, I would have a serious problem with them levels of difference. Some examples… I will not call out the authors and/or narrators because that’s just not my place. If you’ve been around, you probably know who I’m talking about anyway:
- The narrator of a series I loved and in large part BECAUSE I absolutely found his voice drop dead sexy was involved in an affair with a minor. And I’m not talking “oops my bad, I thought she was older” but met her at his child’s school function. No excuse and absolutely abhorrent behavior for me. And to the degree that he was found guilty in a court of law, so it’s beyond hearsay. So I swore off that narrator and planned to continue reading the series, but no longer listening. But then, the author defended him. She tried to backpedal (I’m sure at the advice of her publisher/agent/lawyers) but for me, the damage was done. So even though I loved the series, wanted to know where it was going, and it would have been one I reread, owned multiple copies of, etc… I was done. I can’t financially support that.
- The author of a series that I will forever adore has made some very hurtful transphobic comments. I was shocked that someone who had built a world that taught inclusivity and acceptance could be so hurtful. While I will not stop loving the series and I will reread it, any future support of the author is something I have a hard time with. For me, this is slightly different than the above, since it’s an ideology about a very complex topic versus something that is just very black and white (you do not have affairs with your child’s classmates). So my stepping away from the work is also less intense.
That’s just a couple extreme examples. I had one author that it took me a while to get rid of a bad taste in my mouth about because of some pretty hurtful exchanges they made (including threats of legal action) that were clearly wrong. The fact that the author apologized and realized they were in the wrong did soften me to the point that I have now read and enjoyed some of their work. But their place as a prominent author attacking a newer author without due diligence and checking the comments of their fan base made me pause.
I’ll stop there. Clearly for me, authors and narrators are making themselves public figures by choosing to sell their work for public consumption. As such, what they say and do matters, because they influence others and have the capacity to either uplift or harm on a grander scale.