Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep are not sure the misdeeds of an artist should overshadow the art they have produced.
The two “The Post” co-stars spoke about the issue during a conversation with Ben Smith, Editor-in-Chief of BuzzFeed News.
Asked about the problem of art made by problematic artists in light of allegations against Hollywood figures, such as Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and others, Streep was hesitant to condemn their actual work.
“We still revere Shakespeare,” Streep explained. “We haven’t thrown it out, and there is no question that [‘The Merchant of Venice’] is anti-Semitic. There is no question that ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ is misogynist. Everybody has their blank spots, but the genius that understands so much else about the human experiment is worth safeguarding, and shouldn’t be touched.”
“People who are terrible also have terribly clear insights on other subjects, so I don’t think you throw the baby out with the bathwater,” she added.
Hanks agreed, adding that one of the most important factors in how we judge this issue is time.
“If you threw out every film or television show that was made by an a$$hole, Netflix would go out of business,” Hanks said. “‘The Brady Bunch’, I don’t know what else. I think you do just have to… you wait. ‘Cause this is a long game. Picasso was a womanizer. And this is not excusing anybody – you just have to wait and see how it settles over the long haul.”
“This is not a sprint, this is a marathon,” he said. “And I think work does speak for itself. But character does come into the conversation at some point. But I think that lands over time.”