If you have any interest in what is happening with entertainers and public figures, then you probably know how quickly the debate of “cancel culture” can arise after a controversial incident.
Over the last few years, there has been a surge of well-known people being “canceled” by groups and communities like LGBTQ, BIPOC, and Pacific Islanders who are tired of taking insults on the chin.
Standing up and speaking for what you believe is the new call to justice. The public backlash, mainly powered by progressive and new ideas, starts the snowball effect of “canceling” someone.
What is “Cancel Culture?”
The ultimate goal, it seems, for the “cancellers” is to make public figures take responsibility and have accountability for their actions. This seemingly positive tool has aided in canceling some of the biggest monsters in the public eye.
The public allegations and rapid spread of stories on social media against Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, and Kevin Spacey made it possible to cancel these men for their predatory actions towards their inferiors. The public placed a consequence on them and canceled them in their respective fields. This came along with losing millions in endorsements and work opportunities.
Canceling Too Far?
However, it is nearly impossible to not be ridiculed in today’s culture. This creates a negative stigma among the cancel culture. There is no way to scale back the consequences for being “canceled,” which many people do not see as fair for the accused who encounter minor issues or are ridiculed too swiftly.
In 2018 superstar comedian Kevin Hart stepped down from his role to host that year’s Oscar awards. The decision came after some of his old tweets from 2009 and 2010, making fun of the LGBTQ community, resurfaced. The criticism came like a stampede. The Academy asked him to apologize or they would have to move forward with another host.
Hart posted on his Instagram account that he was “not going to continue to go back and tap into the days of old.” But he chose to pass on the apology because he has already addressed the tweets. He was not going to attempt to go back and change what happened already. Over apologizing has become a norm today as a result of cancel culture.
The People Love Drama
People want controversy, and usually, it’s achieved is by disagreeing or putting an asterisk by someone’s name, signifying cancellation. Society has even gone as far as to attempt to cancel some of our favorite music such as Destiny’s Child “Cater 2 u.”
Back in June, the 2004 song had Terrence Howard in a daze and praised women’s total devotion to their men, and making sure all of his needs were met at home was targeted on social media. Many women started rethinking the meaning of those lyrics and the controversy of submissiveness. But I’m no feminist.
Good And Bad
The purpose of “cancel culture” is to hold those in the public eye accountable for their wrongs. Too often we find ourselves brushing past negative incidents involving public figures because we have no authority to punish them. Cancel culture gives a chance to voice our opinions and disagreement.
Negatively, however, the disagreement often seems premature and the slanderous actions against someone can ruin their reputation unnecessarily.
This is a sensitive generation that fears being canceled. We should not live with the feeling of not being truly capable of having an honest opinion. The majority’s opinion shapes the opinions of individuals.
This insertion into the culture has created a space where publicly apologizing for every issue, small or big, is normal. Owning up to mistakes and fixing behavior is upstanding. But how will this shift in society affect future generations and how they perceive the world?
Aspiring screenwriter, from the Philadelphia area. A Morgan State University student with a hope to write content that means something and will be admired.