Art, Aesthetics, & Ethics Case Studies


Sex, Drugs, and Hijabs on Netflix

Sex, Drugs, and Hijabs on Netflix

Is Netflix's "Elite" a case of creative filmmaking or Muslim stereotyping?
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Picturing Justice for Kalief Browder

Picturing Justice for Kalief Browder

What ethical concerns arise when Jay-Z attempts to document injustices in the American justice system?
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Written In Only to Be Excluded?

Written In Only to Be Excluded?

What does the treatment of diversity in Game of Thrones teach us about the ethics of film?
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Cooperation and Compromise in the Artworld

Cooperation and Compromise in the Artworld

What ethical concerns arise when artists work with problematic governments?
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Netflix and Kill

Netflix and Kill

What are the ethics of portraying heinous criminals in popular films?
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The Ethics of Computer-Generated Actors

The Ethics of Computer-Generated Actors

What ethical concerns arise when filmmakers use CGI to resurrect dead actors?
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When Does Artistic Creativity Become the Exploitation of Children?

When Does Artistic Creativity Become the Exploitation of Children?

What ethical concerns arise when a prominent photographic artist uses her children in her work?
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“One Does Not Simply Create a Meme”

“One Does Not Simply Create a Meme”

When does the creation and sharing of internet memes go too far?
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Is It Only A Game?

Is It Only A Game?

First-person shooter video games are popular. But are they ethical to enjoy?
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How to Use Case Studies in Your Class

How to Use Case Studies in Your Class

How to use case studies to integrate ethics content and skills in your classes.
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When Actors Become Characters

When Actors Become Characters

What are the ethics of fictional works created by fans that involve real people as characters?
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Values Preserved in Stone

Values Preserved in Stone

[CASE STUDY]: What are the ethical issues surrounding Confederate memorials?
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Boldly Going Where Studios Have Gone Before

Boldly Going Where Studios Have Gone Before

When does fan fiction cross the line from inspired creativity to unethical stealing?
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#MeToo and the Arts

#MeToo and the Arts

[CASE STUDY]: What happens when the #MeToo movement meets the artworld?
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When Comedic Stereotypes Cease to Be Funny

When Comedic Stereotypes Cease to Be Funny

[CASE STUDY]: Do humorous - but stereotypical - characters like Apu from "The Simpsons" cross ethical lines?
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Fake News, Fake Porn, and AI

Fake News, Fake Porn, and AI

What are the ethical issues involved in the use of AI in creating fake video content?
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Ethics and Artistic Appropriation

Ethics and Artistic Appropriation

[CASE STUDY]: What are the ethical issues raised by reframing the meaning of public artworks?
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Suicide, Fiction, and Ethics

Suicide, Fiction, and Ethics

[CASE STUDY]: What are the ethical issues raised by Netflix's "13 Reasons Why"?
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More cases coming soon!


Case studies produced by the Media Ethics Initiative remain the intellectual property of the Media Ethics Initiative and the University of Texas at Austin. They can be used in unmodified PDF form without permission for classroom use. For use in publications such as textbooks and other works, please contact the Media Ethics Initiative.