Cancel Culture

Celeste our Op/Ed Editor

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Cancel Culture

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few years, you should know of “cancel culture”. It can be traced back to the early 2000s but didn’t become mainstream until social media platforms came about. For those unaware of “cancel culture,” this is when someone does something that could be labeled as insensitive or offensive. Typically, people will shame them for their actions and if they have a large platform they could potentially lose a substantial amount of supporters. 

Cancel culture originally could be viewed as a good thing, people who had done bad were held accountable for their actions. For example, R&B singer R. Kelly was one of the first people to face the repercussions of “cancel culture”. His alleged crimes were made public and people around the world were disgusted by his alleged doings. People boycotted his music, companies halted his sponsorships, other artists refused to work with him. 

Fast forward to now, a platform where cancel culture thrives is on an app called TikTok. This large app has around 1 billion monthly active users, evidently a very popular app. Creators with small and large followings have to be extremely cautious with the content they post. Many creators have been “canceled” for posting content that was considered offensive. 

I find it reasonable to “cancel” someone who has harmed a certain group or community. This includes racist comments, usage of derogatory terms, heinous crimes, etc. However, many people being “canceled” in this new age, is for minimal offenses. It is common that creators, influencers, celebrities, and anyone with a social media presence cannot come back from being “canceled.” The media doesn’t allow people to grow from their actions, they will forever be labeled as a certain type of person for something they could’ve matured from. 

Being in the public eye is difficult, those who have obtained any amount of fame are expected to be perfect. We are humans, we make many mistakes within our lifetime. Cancel people who truly deserve to be canceled. Let people grow and educate themselves. Instead of immediately attacking, give them time to acknowledge how something could be seen as insensitive.