I heard the quote in the title above on an IMHO (In My Humble Opinion) segment of the PBS Newshour. It was basically linked to another quote that is pretty common in the art world, “Separate the Art from the Artist”. The first thing that came to my mind was Bill Cosby. Looking at his various TV series it is hard to even imagine that the star was a habitual sexual abuser. But, given that big egos are part of this trait it is looking back understandable.
Getting to the point of the post, should we be able to view and appreciate the Huxtable clan knowing what we know now? I must admit that I was a big fan of these shows. I often say “I learned everything I know about marriage from Cliff Huxtable.” But, at least to me and the IMHO presenter, I don’t think I could view even one episode without seeing it as a hypocrisy toward family values. It is stained forever. I just feel so sorry for the rest of the clan. They are forever stained by the star’s actions.
Of course, Cosby is not the only one who has been severely tarnished by his actions. To me, Charlton Heston is another. When I found out via his accepting a high-level position in the NRA that he was a rabid gun nut, it tarnished everything he has done. I can no longer view any of his movies without an image of Moses totting an assault weapon under his robe.