The Ineffectiveness of Cancel Culture

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Image Courtesy of JSTOR Daily

Cancel culture is rampant in today’s media, but is it the most effective form of education?

Mia Siddons Mata, The Scroll, Staff Writer

Cancel culture plays a crucial role in the world of social media and in the lives of both influencers and celebrities. These influencers and celebrities have their entire personal life on display and their every move is put out for the world to judge. It is a known fact that everyone makes mistakes, but most are not criticized as severely as those who have a large platform. 

Cancel culture is essentially an ineffective form of activism, in which celebrities and influencers are publicly humiliated and get their reputation ruined within hours over what could be either a minor or massive mistake. The most frequent reasons these individuals are cancelled is due to racist, homophobic, or even pedophililic behavior. 

People often pick and choose who to “cancel” based on factors such as race, gender, or even how attractive someone may be. This is unacceptable and the same energy should be kept with all influencers/celebrities no matter who they are. A Saugus student, who wishes to remain anonymous, voiced her opinion that, “Cancel culture implements a stigma on its victims and leaves them feeling isolated, inhuman, and resented.”

Most commonly, influencers are rightfully called out for racist behavior, such as using a slur word. However, in some cases the response to these instances does not help to prevent the further use of the slur or stops loyal fans from supporting the person. Recently, well known country singer Morgan Wallen was caught using the n-word slur, prompting a trend of several of his white fans also saying the slur on the platform Tiktok in support of Wallen. 

Country singer Morgan Wallen was recently cancelled by some for use of a racial slur (Image Courtesy of Breitbart)

While some of his fans do not agree with this behavior, many decided to forgive him and continue streaming his music, which is often the case with these types of cancel culture movements.   

Despite the size of their fan bases or fortune, if the celebrity or influencer were to display extremely problematic behavior and express little remorse, they should face the same consequences anybody else would. Oftentimes big celebrities get away with insensitive behavior and actions due to their status, a by-product of cancel culture. Various people with large platforms will never be able to mature and learn from their mistakes due to the lack of criticism they receive for acts of pedophilia, racism, or homophobia. 

Another flaw in cancel culture is how it often leans to be more scrutinising and severe towards women and other minorities, as they are often held to a higher standard than men online. Those with smaller platforms are frequently seen in a more negative light and can severely be affected by cancel culture. While men such as Morgan Wallen seem to get a pass at his behavior and lose little to no fans or revenue, smaller communities are often frowned upon for far more insignificant mistakes. 

An article written by the University of Central Florida adds onto the idea of cancel culture being ineffective by stating, “…tactics such as online doxxing — publicizing private or identifying information — and their potentially permanent effects could leave everyone susceptible to being canceled. It’s worth asking, what motivates authentic, positive change?” 

While in some cases there may not be a chance to change, most are not given advice on how to improve their behavior. They are instead attacked and even doxxed which does not encourage any form of positive change. It may instead motivate them to continue doing it just to receive more attention whether it’s negative or not. 

While using social media, it is important to beware of who one is supporting. Reconsider before supporting someone who is hateful towards others over their race, gender, or sexuality. By supporting this hatred, it is being normalized and spread more frequently. It is also crucial to call out even one’s favorite influencer. No matter how much love one may have for them, their mistakes should still be acknowledged in order for them to evolve as a person.

While some mistakes are opportunities to grow, some are simply unforgivable, but this can be decided using one’s own judgment. Educating yourself on these topics should be step one before making a decision on whether or not to continue supporting that person.

 

The opinions in The Scroll’s editorials are strictly the views of the writers of the staff or outside submissions. The views do not represent or reflect the opinions or policies of Saugus High School or the William S. Hart School District. The Scroll welcomes all reactions and outside submissions to share alternative views.