How Badly Must Artists Behave Before We Can Dismiss Their Great Art?

Critics and Scholars Wrestle With How to Appreciate Creative Masterworks by Flawed Human Beings

Leni Riefenstahl and D.W. Griffith were cinematic geniuses who churned out racist propaganda. The Renaissance master Caravaggio was a murderous rogue. Then there’s the growing list of Hollywood auteurs and actors whose behavior has spawned lawsuits, police charges, and the #MeToo movement.

Can we appreciate great art that’s made by bad people? A panel at a Zócalo/Getty event tried to unpack that thorny proposition before an overflow audience at The Getty Center.

You may opt out or contact us anytime.

Moderator Amanda Fortini, a contributing writer to The New Yorker, dove straight …

More In: The Takeaway

For the Ancients, and for Us, Sustainability Could Be a Civic Virtue

Past Civilizations Knew Their Natural Limits—and the Perils of Abusing the Planet for Personal Gain

The Romans built aqueducts to carry water across continents, the Aztecs perfected aqua-culture gardening, and the 6th-century cisterns of Byzantium still flow beneath the streets of modern-day Istanbul.

Some antique civilizations …

The U.S. Could Become a Casualty of Its Trade War With China

America Is Fighting To Prop up Fading Industries When It Should Be Protecting Intellectual Property Instead

Are the United States and China in a trade war? If they are, who’s winning, who’s losing, and what will be the economic and political fallout in the years to …

How Black Panther Points to a More Enlightened Hollywood Future

The Mega-Hit Will Inspire More Inclusion If the Industry Internalizes Its Many Lessons

The global success of, and acclaim for, the film Black Panther reflect greater inclusiveness and openness to different stories within Hollywood—and could inspire even more changes within the industry.

That was …

Is It Time to Reinvent Democracy Again?

As Self-Government Advances Globally, Our Culture of Citizenship Is Retreating Locally

From a historical and global perspective, democracy is more of a force than it ever has been. But when you examine country by country, and government by government, there’s ample …

Democracy Is Under Siege—but Can Be Saved

Yascha Mounk Thinks the Globe’s Authoritarian Drift Can Be Reversed, If We Fix the Economy and Fight for Our Convictions

Several years before a certain Queens real estate tycoon became president, Yascha Mounk had a sense that the United States and other liberal democracies had arrived at “a moment of …