Marilyn Manson is a name that has always been synonymous with distaste. From the beginning of his career, Mason (real name Brian Hugh Warner) has capitalized on the visceral reaction more conservative music fans had to his theatrics, spinning outrage into gold like a goth-pop rumplestiltskin. But this time, Manson’s personal conduct is so reprehensible, he can’t wave it away as he has other controversies in the past. Multiple women have alleged Manson was abusive towards them, resulting in his record label dropping him. In addition, his upcoming appearances have been cut from multiple different film and television projects.
These aren’t unfamiliar waters for the rich and deviant. From Bill Cosby to Louis C.K, people accused of behavior that falls under the umbrella term “problematic” have been sanctioned similarly for things ranging from minute to monstrous. Michael Jackson, levied with the serious charge of sexual assault on a minor, had his music dropped from most radio stations after Leaving Neverland was released. Donald Trump has been scrubbed from his cameo in Home Alone 2 for his actions during the 2016-2020 presidency. But the question this raises for Sons of Anarchy fans is, what happens to Manson’s part in the show now that these allegations have come to light?
The most likely thing is nothing. The show is already dead and buried, and Manson’s appearances are too intertwined with the story to be purged entirely. While his music can be retroactively wiped from movies like John Wick and shows like Salem, his acting won’t be as easy to get rid of. On top of that, there isn’t much use in these kinds of retroactive purges. In the case of Donald Trump, the removal of his cameo appearance makes little to no difference in the grand scheme of things. Does that petty gesture somehow erase the damage he did for the better part of half a decade? That kind of “activism” only advances the general public’s notion that they’re being fed token gestures for the sake of token gestures.
An important question raised by these allegations, however, is how much did Sutter know? When talking about how Manson was cast as Ron Tully, he had this to say. “You know it’s not a big role. Manson is a friend and we’ve been working on some music together and he’s a mega fan of the show and he’s really been wanting to do more acting.” This isn’t a call to get Sutter in any kind of trouble, but it is an interesting thing to consider. This kind of behavior is only possible when people allow it to happen unchallenged. Johnny Depp, someone who is also alleged to have abused women, was an extremely close personal friend of Manson. It would be surprising if he wasn’t aware of what kinds of things Manson was engaging in. As bad as this situation is, maybe people will finally learn to act when they see something wrong.
Don’t let terrible things happen if you can stop them.