We all have free will. Some people have free will to produce any garbage they want no matter how much I might disagree. It doesn't mean I have to help them create or distribute it. As they say in the East, "It's bad karma". If I helped Adolf Hitler produce hisradio shows then I'm a part of it. If someone can live with that,then it's their decision. A personal code of ethics means more to me and I'd rather cultivate new clients than have to lay down andtake it for the money. I may be temporarily poorer but I'll sleep better.I don't judge anyone with a different view. It's up to you.
Thank you for addressing an issue that should be addressed by everyone who runs a business! Personal ethics DO have to come into play when making decisions regarding what work we will or will not perform.
I own a three-studio complex called Soundscapes where we produce radio advertising for a national client base. We made a collective decision several years ago to refuse work for politicians or attorneys. Politicians because the advertising tends toward character assassination, and attorneys because it usually involves litigation that takes advantage of people and twists the law.
The basis for these decisions is "will what we produce further an attempt to do harm to a person?" The only ethical response to the question is obvious.
Yes we have lost business. Probably more than we know. But it doesn't matter. Sure somebody else will end up producing it. That's not the point. Other business has come in to fill the void, and we know that wešve done the right thing.
There are those unfortunate souls in the world (look around in these responses) for whom personal ethics are defined by the bottom line. They scream and pound their fist about the violence in our society, then sit down to produce the next angry rap record. They are at the core of what's eating our society. They'll probably always be with us...it's human nature.
We can only change society one individual at a time. We start with our own actions and hope this influences the people around us. This is not liberal whining, it's common sense.
Thank you again, and keep pressing people to think about what theyšre doing!
--Brent Walker, firstname.lastname@example.org
Talk about guilt by association! I think that we can't make every business decision around what we think of the potential client's politics/social behavior/pollution standard/whatever. If we did, we wouldn't do anything. You will disagree will some one on something. I'm not one who's big on different moral standards for each person, but that's what it comes down to. How far do you want your morals to affect your life? To the point you only work with people who think exactly like you? Or people whose opinion you canpolitely disagree with? Or just anyone, it doesn't mater? Or somewhere in the middle?
And that's were most people probably will end up, in the middle. And that's the state of our world,in the middle. If you try to be either of the extremes, you're a left-wing facist or right-wing nutcase.
--Justin T. Clausen, email@example.com
I'm sick of Paul Lehrman and his liberal ilk whining about "social responsibility". If he's so "responsible", why doesn't he join the damn Peace Corps? It's any American's God-given right to make money, and we don't need any moralistic preaching to tell us what we can and can't do in order to make a profit. Lehrman would probably tell me I can't post a gun advertisement--well you know what? If I can't, someone else will, and his kids will eat and mine won't. Then I hope that my kids are the ones who hear the ads and buy the guns.
Of course we can have scruples, if we believe ourselves any good at what we do. We will always find other clients, other projects, other things to make money. The only problem may arise when we find ourselves in desperate straits. In any event it seems difficult to suggest anything other than operating by the light of our own consciences. We need to know where we wish to draw our personal line in the sand and stick to that decision.
And I must say that if Paul is guilty of "liberal whining",I personally find it refreshing to hear someone with real values, and long may he whine. It seems much easier for people to resort to knee-jerk deprecation than to think. At least Paul thinks!
-- Richard Elen, firstname.lastname@example.org
We ALL have to make these decisions every day in all our endeavors. What gas you buy for your car impacts the world, whether you care to think so or not. So if you turn down a gig because the client, or artist, will use the end product for some purpose not to your liking, you won't change them, but you will not align yourself and your talents (your most valuable assets) with their nonsense. Sure, someone else will make the cash, but I believe we reach a point in life where money isn't everything, and scruples ARE worth maintaining.
I remember when Rap first came on the scene. There were performers who had something to say and, though I didn't quite get it all, I felt that I could learn from them, and they from me. But when a lucrative contract came up, and the client was a no-talent racist Head Case, I just let that one go, and felt GOOD about doing so. I work in TV a lot, where there are many "jerk" directors. But there's a difference between working for bad people, and NOT working for bad CAUSES. And we all have different thresholds.
Speaking of which... howzabout a talk about where is the "line" over which one would WALK OFF a show???
--Rom Rosenblum, email@example.com
I applaud Paul Lehrman's politics, but I'm not sure how practical he's being. This society runs on capital, and capital runs on advertising, which includes selling to the public things the don't necessarily need. Coke, for example, has very little benefit to society, and some groups (dentists and pediatric nutritionists come to mind) consider it quite harmful, yet can any studio or composer really turn down a contract to do a Coke spot? (Ed.-Yes) Drawing lines between what products are beneficial and which are harmful can be an awfully delicate and inexact practice, not to mention subjective. Did I hear someone say "situational ethics?"