We Don’t Need To Cancel ‘Cancel Culture’

For anyone older than around thirty years old, you may not be familiar with “cancelling” or “cancel culture.” They’re internet terms used to discuss problematic ‘famous’ people or things online. If an influencer or celebrity or company says or does something rude/inappropriate/wrong, it’s common for people, fans or not, to ‘cancel’ them, meaning that they’re cutting off support for said person/company.

Cancel culture gif.

Of course, it’s not as simple as ‘I don’t like Kanye West so I’m not going to listen to his music.’ No, cancel culture has evolved into harsh, life-ruining online bullying. Cancelled people may or may not get a chance to explain or apologize, and overnight, they could lose brand deals, money, followers, and more because people online get so angry and vicious and loud, and it becomes this mob-mentality of hate and rudeness. And while sometimes the offender did do something so bad it’s worthy of the treatment (Harvey Weinstein, for example, got cancelled by basically everyone on the planet) but often it’s smaller actions like an old racist tweet or a misinterpreted interview comment that are still bad but maybe not worth losing livelihoods over. As popular as cancel culture is, it’s also incredibly harmful, and a lot of people know this, but in a lot of internet communities, it’s very prevalent.

Parks And Rec Complete Buffoonery gif.

I like to keep up with YouTube drama. It’s mindless and I don’t really care for any YouTubers/Beauty Gurus, so I really am just there to keep up with pop culture and the nonsense. There have been many, many, many small scandals over the years, but there have also been a few larger events that really rocked YouTube. Through it all, cancel culture runs the most rampant because no one is there to police it, really. We have some entitled YouTubers doing dumb/awful/rude things because they can or don’t know better, drama channels/social media reporting it all and making it into A Big Deal, and impressionable fans cancelling left and right, forcing YouTubers to lose a lot and ‘go to a really dark place.’ It’s not a perfect system, but it is one that is kind of needed.

One drama/makeup YouTuber I watch occasionally wisely said in a recent video about MannyMUA’s cancelling experience that a lot of the times, it’s not ‘cancel culture’, it is ‘holding you accountable culture.’ The people being cancelled usually did do something we can mostly agree is bad, and they, as a public figure making money off our views/purchases, need to know when they messed up and why people are unhappy about it. They need consequences and they need to know that they could be completely cancelled if they don’t learn. The problem is that the immediate cancelling is often done in a harsh way. There are (surprise, surprise) people who can’t just express their disappointment/thoughts or desire to no longer support someone in a mature way. And it’s these awful people who ruin cancel culture for the rest because they can’t just go about their lives actually not giving attention to the cancelled person. The other problem is that the event/allegations may not be true, yet the public may not have that info or even want to consider it because they’re ready to cancel anyone.

when will you learn that your actions have consequences gif.

People online have a lot of power when they come together, and I do think it’s good that the power is often being used to call out wrongdoings. That’s why cancel culture doesn’t need to end. It just needs to be done in a different, more productive way. Less for entertainment and meanness and more for informing and learning. If you have ever on social media of some sort expressed a ‘cancelling’ (because even I have) and think you will again, maybe consider how harsh you may be and how productive doing so is. Make your activism count. And I know it can be hard to decide when to not support someone after a cancel-worthy event. This is the world we’re in.

What are your thoughts on cancel culture? How do you think the internet should handle problematic people?

That’s all for now!

 

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7 thoughts on “We Don’t Need To Cancel ‘Cancel Culture’

  1. yeah, you know what… cancel culture is a double-edged sword. on the one side, i agree that it’s intention is saddled in the idea of “holding you accountable culture.” this sounds beautiful, as there are highkey problematic people who seriously need to be held accountable (chris fucking brown). but on the other side, cancel culture predicates itself on outrage – and that outrage could be about literally anything. speak incorrectly or unthinkingly? cancelled. use the wrong word in a sentence despite its context? cancelled. in the hyper-pc culture we’re barreling toward, there’s nothing that won’t get you canceled – and that’s a problem. we’re human and we make mistakes, but we’ve forgotten and don’t care about empathy and growth. “you offended me so i’ll never forgive you. oh you apologized? fuck that, you’re canceled. oh you said you’ll learn and will do better? fuck that, you’re canceled.”

    there needs to be room for people to develop, to understand their errors, and to have the time to change their behaviors. nothing happens overnight but that seems to be expectation regardless. cancel culture is contributing to our increased depression and loneliness.

    • You’re definitley right that the term ‘cancelled’ is thrown around a lot in situations where the person simply made a small mistake, and it lessens the power in more important contexts like Chris Brown.
      There definitely needs to be more room to grow and better oneself when being called out.
      However, in a lot of the YouTube spaces, some of these people have had several small ‘scandals’ and don’t always seem to learn from them, so it’s easy for viewers to get fed up and call out everything no matter how small or large. There’s no clear solution because this culture is rather new and is being utilized by the general public, which includes kids.

  2. Here’s where I stand with cancel culture. Let’s take for example Jeffree Star / Shane Dawson & past racism. I believe 100% that people change and if they were racist in the past, they can learn from it. However, I think it’s unfair to tell people who have been effected by their comments in the past to forgive it and move on. I’m a white woman, and their comments haven’t impacted me. I wouldn’t want to force women of color to forgive both of them if they don’t want to.

    Hopefully that makes sense? I usually have my personal reasons why I don’t support someone, but that doesn’t mean I will go on their social media and write that they are a terrible person. Usually I leave it to my own devices instead of publically shaming them.

    I think apologies of course are necessary, but depending on who the negative comments impacted, their former fans don’t have to forgive them if they don’t want to.

    • For sure. It’s totally valid for anyone, especially POC, to still not like Shane or Jeffree because of those events, even if they’ve appear to be remorseful and changed now. It’s not up to anyone else to decide who you support or ‘cancel’.
      And I’d say that the general population don’t go on social media to publicly shame either, it’s more to inform, to say remind other people that these ‘idols’ are flawed and even sometimes bad. It’s a small percentage who turn that to bullying and vileness.

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