Occasionally, we face dilemmas that make it hard to make a decision. This piece represents one of these challenges. The Moroccan singer, Saad Lamjarred, continues to gain popularity with his song “LM3ALLEM.” The song has now reached around 893M views on Youtube; almost reaching a billion views. This would ultimately make him the first Arab singer to reach that number.
He has been accused of raping three women; one in Morocco, another in France, and a third in the USA. The singer has been sent to jail in the past, and then was released on bail, currently awaiting trial. Due to those allegations, one of his recent concerts in Egypt was cancelled. Accordingly, social media went crazy, naming him “the rapist,” and supporting boycotts against him. Still, his song continues to gain more popularity, and might even break a record.
The question now lies in whether we should be supporting an artist whose behavior we stand against. Sure, he’s a good singer who holds several hits under his belt. However, by supporting his art, does this support his actions, specifically regarding sexual assault?
Too many times are we faced with a product or art created by a person who is admired and respected, but go on to commit a questionable or downright unethical act. These moments usually lead to a reflection and reevaluation about whether their art deserves any respect or support whatsoever from you.
Take for example another ongoing matter with Egyptian football player Amr Warda, who has been accused of sexual harassment on social media with numerous different cases. Warda had sent abusive messages to girls and several accusations of sexual assaults were reported against him. Despite being a professional football player, social media users have raged against him, asking for him to be removed from the Egyptian football team as well as the Greek football club PAOK.
Another famous singer that falls into this category of unethical confusion is Lebanese singer Fadl Shaker. The singer has been accused of funding a terrorist group with arms, as well as being a member of the group for years. Regardless of being recognized as an eminent singer, his fans eventually turned on him. After making a comeback to singing, his fans were not waiting for his return.
These violations undoubtedly would amount to serious crimes committed here. Albeit this does not negate their talents and skills, it surely does not increase support for them. Social media is a powerful tool, and we have seen the course of actions being influenced once enough people unite for a cause and condemn an outrageous and immoral act. At the end of the day, perhaps standing against injustice and discussing the relevant matters at hand is far more important than focusing solely on the journey of an artist or celebrity.