There is absolutely no amount of talent that excuses a human being for lacking morality and we as a society must come to demand more from our idols. We have created a culture that values a person's abilities more than their character, we sacrifice integrity for entertainment, and choose to justify condemnable actions by the appraisal of their art. We have deified those who have shown a propensity for greatness but have not proven to be good people, and by raising and praising these false idols we forfeit the prerogative to hold individuals accountable for their conduct because our societal rules and expectations do not apply to those we hold in the highest regard. It can be understood that with genius in any field there comes a certain level of creative obsession that impacts "normal" behaviors and thought processes, but what also should be understood is precedent, consequences, and that what someone can do is not the same as who they are as a person.
In today's current sociopolitical atmosphere we are witnessing the beginning of a dramatic meteor shower, except our "stars" are shooting back down to earth, plummeting from grace in a spiral of allegations, assaults, and felonies. We gave platform and power to people who lacked a noble purpose, who rose to fame with too many blessings and not having learned enough lessons. Talent has been dangerously blinding, but the filters are slowly being removed. We are seeing our gods as humans once more because we are paying attention to their subtleties that no longer seem so subtle. We enabled this entirely, we built our houses in sand and now we are watching the rain wipe them away across our newspapers and television screens.
It is time to reprioritize, to reflect on who and what we respect, and then to give the stages to those who deserve the influence. We, the masses, dictate the terms, we are the ones watching, we are the ones listening, we are the gatekeepers and we must be more responsible with who we let in and who we allow to stay. We control who is relevant by deciding who we pay attention to, and we must decide what we value more, innate goodness or superficial greatness. There is no shortage of gifted humans in our wide world that are both talented and decent that deserve our recognition and there never has been. We must do better, we must hold higher standards in politics, in sports, in art, and in entertainment, we must stop accepting talent as a permissible excuse.
-Ryan Anthony Dube