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?