Politics en Pointe

Last week's (or last year's - however you want to put it) installment of The Ethicist brought up a question about something near and dear to my heart: Ballet. The letter writer (read here) felt that they should boycott The Nutcracker because it was well funded by billionaire David Koch, whose political views they do not endorse. She wrote: "I’m sure my granddaughter would have liked to see the show, but rather than validate this patron’s actions and beliefs, I boycotted it."

On the one hand, this is a free country and people "boycott" things all the time. It's definitely your choice whether or not to support a cause (or the people supporting a cause, in this case).

What I do have a problem with is boycotting the arts entirely because of one donor (she does not mention seeing another production). There are also thousands (probably a low ball number) of Nutcracker performances and the woman could have found another performance to support. I have never seen a Nutcracker production with political undertones (may be "googling" that later) so the dance company is probably just happy about the donation... I doubt very much they would turn anyone away with legal money to donate.

So, what are your thoughts on this? Have you boycotted an arts performance because of a donor? Would you? Has the thought even ever crossed your mind?


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