Louis Theroux Responds To Criticism Of Comments About Death Of XXXTentacion

Louis Theroux has spoken out after he was criticised by some people for his views following the death of rapper XXXTentacion in the USA on 18 June.

The rapper was shot dead in his car in Deerfield Beach, Florida at just 20 years old. Shortly after his death was announced, Theroux tweeted his condolences:

However, his comments were not universally well received and some people have been quick to point out XXXTentacion's chequered past with regards to domestic violence and problems with the law.

Before his death, the rapper had been facing trial in his homeland on charges of aggravated battery of a pregnant woman and domestic battery by strangulation. He had also previously been accused of other offences, particularly domestic abuse related incidents.

In response to Theroux's comments on social media, Australian theatre-maker Shannon Ely published a response to the documentary filmmaker's tweets in the form of a short essay.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

In that essay - entitled 'Dear Louis Theroux, on the subject of XXXTentacion' - she argued that it is not possible to separate the artist from their art, even if the two are contrasting and contradictory.

One passage from the essay reads: "In the case of XXXTentacion, he created groundbreaking music, he encouraged youth struggling with depression.

"I would, in no way, support a celebration or 'laughing react' to news of his death. That seems far too callous. But I would argue that we start putting his actions in life, towards women and towards those who he used his power over to abuse, above what he created."

She continued: "I would put his actions before talent. And I would do that with every other artist that is still out there, making their millions while manipulating the mainstream narrative.

"Artistic brilliance does not negate the actions of a serial abuser nor does it need to be the factor we place at the forefront of our speech."

It's worth pointing out that the essay was in no way intended to be antagonistic to Theroux. It simply argued that the work that someone produces artistically cannot be separated entirely from the content of their actions and character.

Theroux responded by tweeting: "Thanks for [your] thoughtful piece. My tweet about XXXTentacion was meant to acknowledge the sadness of the death of a 20yo.

"I don't believe compassion [should] be reserved only for the righteous. But I hear all those who felt my comment did a disservice to victims of domestic violence."

XXXTentacion's memorial service will take place in Florida tomorrow.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a freelance journalist and LADbible contributor. He graduated from University of London with a BA in Philosophy before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. He has previously written for the M.E.N Group as well as working for several top professional sports clubs. Contact him on [email protected]

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