Never a wrong time to do the right thing. Free Speech.

There is never a wrong time to do the right thing.  If you think you’ve made the wrong decision, but you are very much in the public eye then reversing it can be a hard thing to do.  The Royal Court led by Vicky Featherstone have reversed such a decision.  Regardless of one's own opinion, listening and responding is a mark of a considered leadership and should be congratulated.


“Written when Andrea Dunbar was just eighteen, Rita, Sue and Bob Too was presented as part of the Young Writers Festival 1982, in a double bill with Bows and Arrows by Lenka Janiurek. The play caused a sensation with its frank look at teenage sexuality and became notorious for its opening scene where two schoolgirl babysitters take it in turns to have sex with their employer in the back of his car. In 1986, the play was adapted into a film of the same name, and attracted a cult following.”


The RC at first thought it was too difficult to stage the play at the RC putting more weight on keeping the RC a safe space and the conflictual overtones of having  a director (accused of multiple harassment incidents) previously involved with the production.  


Yet the RC puts the writer’s voice at the heart of its work. Not directors not actors.  So, as writers might say, silencing a working class female voice because of who the original director was, would be untrue to the RC mission.


A wider ranging examination of the difficulties of separating art from artist is looked at here by  Claire Dederer in The Paris Review.   Can we look at Ezra Pound’s work as separate from his poetry or even harder can we take out what we know of Woody Allen from his masterwork that is Manhattan as discussed in the article.


“....They did or said something awful, and made something great. The awful thing disrupts the great work; we can’t watch or listen to or read the great work without remembering the awful thing. Flooded with knowledge of the maker’s monstrousness, we turn away, overcome by disgust. Or … we don’t. We continue watching, separating or trying to separate the artist from the art. Either way: disruption. They are monster geniuses, and I don’t know what to do about them….Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, Bill Cosby, William Burroughs, Richard Wagner, Sid Vicious, V. S. Naipaul, John Galliano, Norman Mailer, Ezra Pound, Caravaggio, Floyd Mayweather, though if we start listing athletes we’ll never stop….”


Those of a libertarian angle or fierce defenders of speech freedom will mostly conclude that primacy of voice and freedom of speech comes first and anything else would be censorship and censorship is mostly or even always unwelcome.


If you'd like to feel inspired by commencement addresses and life lessons try:  Neil Gaiman on making wonderful, fabulous, brilliant mistakes; or Nassim Taleb's commencement address; or JK Rowling on the benefits of failure.  Or Charlie Munger on always inverting;  Sheryl Sandberg on grief, resilience and gratitude or investor Ray Dalio on  on Principles.

Cross fertilise. Read about the autistic mind here