What rather gets missed in discussions of culture is that the entertainment business itself is one of the most ruthlessly capitalist on the planet. Make good money at the business end of things and near all will be forgiven. Fail to do so and the most righteous behaviour will be ignored when it comes to deals and jobs and placements and distribution and casting.
Sean Penn doesn’t get paid to make movies because he’s a drifting leftist, nor Arnie because he’s an adherent of Austrian politics. Either or both get hired because they make money for those who do so.
Viewed this way we might conclude that R. Kelly’s sales are falling:
R. Kelly has been dropped by his record label following a stream of accusations of sexual abuse of minors. The rapper and Sony Music-owned RCA record label ended their arrangement on Friday, according to industry publications. Billboard magazine and Variety reported that he no longer appears on the roster of artists on RCA’s website. The reported split follows decades of allegations of sexual and physical abuse by the Grammy-winning singer, which were the subject of a new six-hour television documentary aired earlier this month. Kelly’s attorney has denied the allegations.
We have absolutely no idea over the truth or not of the varied allegations. Sex cults, minors, not that we’d be terribly surprised about such – it’s hardly all that unusual that things like the age of consent have been shaded over when fame is concerned as stories about Jimmy Page and David Bowie suggest. Or Bill Wyman at a perhaps lower level of individual stardom even if greater corporate.
We also don’t know much about R. Kelly – us gammons are this generation’s musers on popular beat combos.
However, we’d be willing to hazard a guess here about this decision of RCA to drop R. Kelly over these allegations. R. Kelly’s sales are either falling or already have done to the point that he’s not worth the hassle nor candle. If his musical compositions were still selling by the supertanker load – or rivaling Netflix in bandwidth – then those making the money out of that would be willing to ride the allegations. We’d perhaps be having spirited defences of innocent until proven guilty from executives’ PR mouthpieces.
We’re not getting that. We’re instead gaining a series of mumble mumbles and the dropping from the roster. We conclude that the sales from being defiant aren’t worth it therefore there’s no defiance.
This is also how this capitalism shtick is supposed to work too. Assume, just for a moment, that the sales are dropping because of the allegations. We consumers out here are making clear our views on the sex cult stuff by not buying the records. Excellent, that’s what we should be doing, expressing our views by the way we deploy our spending.