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Can an audience still enjoy a film that stars actors who are truly horrible people?

O.J. Simpson in the Naked Gun movies, Joe Son in Austin Powers, Jeffrey Jones in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Hollywood films are rife with actors who have found their way on the wrong side of the law. Some are for petty reasons or misdomeanors, though some have been convicted (or at least tried) for truly heinous acts. Though does knowing this take away from the enjoyment of the films themselves? Can an audience enjoy and empathise with a character without seeing the criminal (if not evil) actor beneath? Where do we draw the line in our supposed ‘suspension of disbelief’? Are there some films or actors that people just simply cannot bring themselves to look at? Do we boycott or condemn the film, and is that fair towards the other innocent individuals that worked on it?

  • These are all very interesting questions to ponder, since I have thought about them myself. Maybe choose a specific film and actor to talk about, and try to answer those questions. – Gabby 6 days ago
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  • It might be interesting to take a look at this topic from a political/historical perspective, as well as 'homages' to them (i.e. Leni Riefenstahl (propaganda filmmaker during Third Reich) and George Lucas (almost exactly copying one of Riefenstahls frames in Star Wars)). – Charly 5 days ago
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  • Depends on the crime, people's individual values/morals, but it's a shame as you say that other innocent actors can feel repercussions, – per221 2 days ago
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  • One question you can ask is do we boycott everything about said actor or only stuff that comes out after they became problematic. He’s not an actor but let’s say Kanye West, a lot of people who I know decided to no longer support him because of all his controversy but they still listen to his old music. While as others have decided to completely “unstan” him and anything associated to him from past to present. I think the question of time could be something interesting to target. – tmtonji 2 days ago
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