Too Close to Putin? Institutions Vet Artists, Uncomfortably.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led arts organizations to reconsider who performs, forcing them to confront questions about free speech and policing political views.

By Javier C. Hernández

Even as many institutions are eager to show support for Ukraine, and to distance themselves from artists who embrace Mr. Putin, they are uncomfortable with trying to vet the views of performers — and worry that Russian artists, who must often rely on the support of the state for their careers to thrive at home, could face reprisals if forced to publicly disavow the Kremlin.

“You can’t just put everybody under general suspicion now,” said Alexander Neef, the director of the Paris Opera. “You can’t demand declarations of allegiance or condemnations of what’s going on.”

The situation is tense and fast moving. Leaders of organizations are facing pressure from donors, board members and audiences, not to mention waves of anger on social media, where campaigns to cancel several Russian artists have rapidly gained traction.

Source: The New York Times