Watching artists such as 6ix9ine and Xxxtentacion continue their rise to fame after being exposed for behavior such as domestic abuse and sexual misconduct is unacceptable. Lesser known artists like Jesse Lacey of Brand New, who admitted to sleeping with underaged fans, are just as undeserving even if they may not necessarily be in the mainstream spotlight. Actions such as these are severe and need not be brushed aside just because the abusers are behind a few hit songs.
Many who actively choose to continue supporting abusers after they have been exposed use the excuse that they do not support the actions of the artist, only the content of their art. The issue with this excuse is that simply supporting the content is enough to provide the abuser with a platform to continue to abuse others.
Downloading their content, buying their merch and sharing their art only allows abusers to stay in the spotlight, and gives them financial support for their lifestyle.
Beating your girlfriend black and blue is still just as horrible, regardless of how many hit songs you may have on the radio. Sexual misconduct is still just as bad, regardless of the amount of platinum records you may have. Admitting to sleeping with underaged fans while being well over the legal age is still bad, regardless. The talent does not matter.
These appalling actions are no less appalling just because your favorite artist is behind them. Everyone makes bad choices, and everyone makes mistakes. But, once you get into the territory of repeated, unapologetic abusive behavior, there needs to be a line drawn.
We are all capable of making our own decisions and supporting whoever it is we want to support. If you want to support artists who beat their girlfriends and have a track record of sexual misconduct, go ahead. If you want to support artists who use their platform to sleep with underaged fans, so be it.
What needs to be understood is the fact that by supporting the artist, you will always support their abusive behavior as well. Bad people can make great art. That does not mean they are suddenly pardoned for the horrible actions they have willingly engaged in.
We, as viewers and audience members, need to be conscious of the people we are so quickly bringing to the spotlight. We need to consume art responsibly, and we need to remain aware of the unforgiveable actions our favorite artists are partaking in.
We need to stop giving a platform to the people who least deserve it.