Does it matter if an artist expresses racist views?

Abi asked:

Does it matter if an artist expresses racist views? Is his/ her work more important than their politics? I am thinking particularly of Wagner.

Answer by Shaun Williamson

Yes it does matter. Their work is never more important than their politics. However Wagner’s political and prejudiced views are not made apparent in his musical works. You could listen to Wagner’s music without ever being aware of the small minded and evil view he had of the world.

We should never forget or forgive Wagner’s ignorant and evil prejudices. His music is greater than he could ever be.

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