Another ethical question - Who would you work for?

Justin.Morris

Elite Member
Aug 31, 2007
2,771
884
Canada
www.morrismagic.ca
So I got a call today from a company that offered me a gig. It was for a product release they are doing,and they brought together 50 international big wigs for this. This company does HUNDREDS of BILLIONS of dollars in business.

But I don't agree with the product they are selling.

So I said no.

I don't make a living strictly from magic, but this show would have been one that I could have started to charge more for. This was a chance for a possible "big break", but I needed to stick to my convictions.

To be honest it takes the wind out of me a bit just thinking about it. I had never thought about it before. Where is my line?

So, what would be your line? What job(or companies) would you say 'no' to? Where do you think your ethical lines are? Have you ever been in a similar situation?

Just thinking out loud.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,840
2,923
I would do the same, had I been in your situation. I don't think I'd work a party where the point of the party was to promote or celebrate a product I disagree with.

I also don't think I could do a gig where I had to pitch a product at all.

By the way, kudos to you for sticking to your convictions in the face of the almighty dollar.
 
Nov 7, 2008
295
0
Hofstra Univ.
I had a company come up to a friend of mine and me and asked us to be their official magicians. The website is really not something either of us needed to be associated with even though it could have been some serious exposure.
 
Dec 23, 2007
1,579
4
35
Fredonia, NY
i think it would depend on the product. And again performing at a meeting as an opener or whatever doesn't necessarily mean you agree with the products sold. For instance, im not a big supporter of smoking or the smoking business. however i might consider doing a gig at a meeting. Again i think it depends on the individual situation and your own ideals. Now if you were going to be something like an official spokesperson for a company and representing them, then i think it would matter considerably more.
 
Jul 10, 2010
277
0
29
McAllen, TX
www.wix.com
So I got a call today from a company that offered me a gig. It was for a product release they are doing,and they brought together 50 international big wigs for this. This company does HUNDREDS of BILLIONS of dollars in business.

But I don't agree with the product they are selling.

So I said no.

I don't make a living strictly from magic, but this show would have been one that I could have started to charge more for. This was a chance for a possible "big break", but I needed to stick to my convictions.

To be honest it takes the wind out of me a bit just thinking about it. I had never thought about it before. Where is my line?

So, what would be your line? What job(or companies) would you say 'no' to? Where do you think your ethical lines are? Have you ever been in a similar situation?

Just thinking out loud.

Ethics come down to you. Not us. Only you know what your ethics are; good or bad. I personally am not above myself doing a show for a company who sells something I don't like. I use shampoo A and they are a company that sells shampoo B. I don't care, a show is a show, money is money. Cash is either coming in or it isn't, period. Who cares. I might be wrong in my "ethics", but come on. It gets to a point to where it's stupid. Don't kill people, molest people, hurt anyone. Be nice, have fun, You already know what your ethics are. You don't have to ask us. You shouldn't care, I could be an ass, or I could be a cool person. Listening to me won't help in a quest for ethics because it comes down to you.
 
Ethics come down to you. Not us. Only you know what your ethics are; good or bad. I personally am not above myself doing a show for a company who sells something I don't like. I use shampoo A and they are a company that sells shampoo B. I don't care, a show is a show, money is money. Cash is either coming in or it isn't, period. Who cares. I might be wrong in my "ethics", but come on. It gets to a point to where it's stupid. Don't kill people, molest people, hurt anyone. Be nice, have fun, You already know what your ethics are. You don't have to ask us. You shouldn't care, I could be an ass, or I could be a cool person. Listening to me won't help in a quest for ethics because it comes down to you.

2x (word count)

M.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,840
2,923
Ethics come down to you. Not us. Only you know what your ethics are; good or bad. I personally am not above myself doing a show for a company who sells something I don't like. I use shampoo A and they are a company that sells shampoo B. I don't care, a show is a show, money is money. Cash is either coming in or it isn't, period. Who cares. I might be wrong in my "ethics", but come on. It gets to a point to where it's stupid. Don't kill people, molest people, hurt anyone. Be nice, have fun, You already know what your ethics are. You don't have to ask us. You shouldn't care, I could be an ass, or I could be a cool person. Listening to me won't help in a quest for ethics because it comes down to you.

So I take it you've never heard of the Socratic Method?

By exposing oneself to the viewpoint of others, one can explore and further define their own beliefs. Where you draw the line on various matters basically defines who you are as a person.

"A show is a show, money is money." Ok. So you're saying you'd do a show for any event? Even if that event was promoting something that is the antithesis of your own beliefs? This isn't just a matter of a party to launch a different shampoo. What if the promotion was for, say, a lobbying group that wants to support the death penalty? Or caning students in elementary schools? Perhaps these are extreme examples, but I think it's good to think about ethics and values.
 
Jul 10, 2010
277
0
29
McAllen, TX
www.wix.com
So I take it you've never heard of the Socratic Method?

By exposing oneself to the viewpoint of others, one can explore and further define their own beliefs. Where you draw the line on various matters basically defines who you are as a person.

"A show is a show, money is money." Ok. So you're saying you'd do a show for any event? Even if that event was promoting something that is the antithesis of your own beliefs? This isn't just a matter of a party to launch a different shampoo. What if the promotion was for, say, a lobbying group that wants to support the death penalty? Or caning students in elementary schools? Perhaps these are extreme examples, but I think it's good to think about ethics and values.

Death penalty yes, canning students no. Just thought I'd answer those. Your right. I just think you know what right and wrong is in your heart and don't need people to tell you. Just my opinion.

P.S. I know I am going to get flamed for the whole agreeing with the death penalty thing so if anyone has a problem with it, PM me please. No need to close a good thread down.
 
May 9, 2008
603
0
My opinion is that sometimes you just need to put your own limiting beliefs away. If you don't, you could find an ethical issue with every company that offers you a gig, and you could end up performing for noone. You're a magician. You're not there to stand up for your beliefs, you're there to work and get paid. You're an independent contractor for hire. You shouldn't turn down a customer. If everyone turned down a customer due to ethical issues, no one would do business with each other.
 
Jul 10, 2010
277
0
29
McAllen, TX
www.wix.com
My opinion is that sometimes you just need to put your own limiting beliefs away. If you don't, you could find an ethical issue with every company that offers you a gig, and you could end up performing for noone. You're a magician. You're not there to stand up for your beliefs, you're there to work and get paid. You're an independent contractor for hire. You shouldn't turn down a customer. If everyone turned down a customer due to ethical issues, no one would do business with each other.

I like this guy.
 

-Ty

Sep 1, 2007
248
1
Australia
Short of mass-murderers, I'd work for anyone. The more you can squeeze out of their pockets the better.

(This statement does not neccesarily reflect the actual views of the affiliate author.)

Ty
 
Sep 1, 2007
340
1
Ontario, Canada
If this could have been your big break, I think you made a pretty bad decision there. So you dont agree with it. Theyre just going to hire someone else anyways! Might as well be you.

Doesnt matter if its a group supporting the death penalty, cash is cash. Besides that I also support the death penalty. But thats a separate issue.

Canning kids, no.
 
Feb 21, 2009
26
0
I would not perform for something that went against my ethics.

I am a christian and I cant be glorifing Christ at an event that goes against what he has told us.

the only acception would be if people knew that I was a christian and I was sharing Christ with others.

I know I am just opening my self up for being flamed please dont, message me instead.
 
May 3, 2008
1,146
4
Hong Kong
It really depends on the situation...
If it was for a new weapon of mass murder that a suicidal clan is promoting, then great job saying no. But if it was for "that thing" your girlfriend hates, then I think it was a pretty bad decision.
As some others have said, you are a magician. You perform magic. No one is going to ask you for your ethical views when you show them a trick. Sure you may not agree with what they stand for but you know that and you are fine. I am pretty sure not everyone at the function supports the cause either. Some of them probably just have some other gain from attending.

Think about it this way:
You don't go, they hire another magician. They lose nothing. The sub may even be cheaper; someone else just had their big break. You on the other hand just lost a break through in your career and a nice sum of cash.
If you had said yes. You would have promoted your service to many "big wigs" and also made a big buck. As well as that, you also assisted in taking money away from this cause you disagree with (pushing it I know).
People will not associate you with that cause. Gigs from this one, people would not say "theres that magician... good ol' mister I support Nazis."

Besides, if you only perform for functions which you are 100% okay with, ethically, you may not make a lot of money and your career may just go down in the dumps.
 

RickEverhart

forum moderator / t11
Elite Member
Sep 14, 2008
3,638
471
44
Louisville, OH
Wow...great topic fellas.

This is a tough one. Depending on how against the company or product I was, I probably would have sucked it up and did it because of all the other potential gigs and money. I would have looked at it as putting money on the table to help my family.

On the flip side, I think it would make it very hard to "promote and sell" a product that I had no interest in at all or could care less if they did well.

Working corporate is very hard work and a tough business. I have never done it but 2 of my older magician friends do it and it is a lot of travel and work. Pitching the product, keeping the crowds, setting up and tearing down your booth, etc.
 
Nov 30, 2007
821
0
Ethics really does play such a vital role in society. For this reason, it is easy for ethics to be seen in magic. As your point illustrated, do you take a job, perform, or advocate for a company you don't believe in? Countless other situations involving ethics can be seen in the realm of magic. Should you use your card skills to cheat at card games? Should you use your watch stealing skills to actually steal?

So many magicians have the opportunity to betray their morals, we are involved in an art of deception. But these ethics and morals are what keep us, as a community of magicians, respected and hired.

A great line about ethics was delivered in the movie Flash of Genius. It was spoken by the protagonist, a college professor by the name of Robert Kearns. This engineering professor soon realizes the need for a more efficient windshield wiper, and he sets out on his quest to design it. When speaking to his class, he decides to have a little talk on ethics. He says, and I quote:

"I can't think of a job or a career where the understanding of ethics is more important than engineering. Who designed the artificial aortic heart valve? An engineer did that. And who designed the gas chambers at Auschwitz? An engineer did that, too. One man was responsible for helping save tens of thousands of lives, another man helped kill millions. Now, I don't know what any of you are gonna end up doing in your lives, but I can guarantee you that there will come a day where you have a decision to make, and it won't be as easy as deciding between a heart valve and a gas chamber."

Just a little something to think about.

P.S. Justin, I commend you for what you did. In my mind, you easily made the right choice and stuck with your morals. While you might have lost some potential money and work, you kept your integrity, which is what really matters.
 
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