Here’s the deal … I shot this segment before the “great fall” of Mario Batali, before the #metoo movement brought his behavior to the spotlight. For me, at the time innocent and naive of what he had done, it was a huge honor. A little youtube series about sandwiches had reached literally the biggest chef on the planet and was proof that hard work and passion can pay off. A week later the news came out about Batali, and I took the piece down, because I didn’t want to promote anyone that caused pain to anyone else. I was very dissapointed on many levels, as a content creator, as aman, and as a lover of sandwiches.
So why post it now? Well, Batali is back in the news since Eataly, the empire that he built, has severed ties to the chef with the ponytail, crocks and wandering hands. It has gotten me thinking about how engage with our celebrities, our artists, and our leaders in the media. People like Michael Jackson, Kevin Spacey, and Roman Polanski come to mind. The hard question to answer is “can the work of an individual be separated from the creator”, meaning, is it ok to enjoy the product of someone that is less than favorable in society’s eyes.
I still think Thriller is a great album, and one of the best music videos of all time. John Doe is one of the greatest characters in film history, and Chinatown is one of the greatest movies ever made. I feel horrible thinking that anyone that causes pain to someone could profit from their work, but at the same time, if that work inspires others to be great, then who really loses in the end?
I am in no way endorsing Batali or anyone that causes pain to anyone regardless of what they produce. In the end, this is a question that you have to answer on a personal level, and part of being human is being able to accept and better yourself when confronted by truth. Whatever truth you find in this fish sandwich I hope it brings a bit of resolve, and hopefully a little joy to your life. For me, regardless of the subject, I just see it as a moment when a passion of mine touched the heavens, and validation to never give up doing what you love, and always treat each other with respect and kindness.
See the whole series at http://www.mmas.tv