Cutting Off or Out Becomes Caveat of Cancel Culture

Cutting+Off+or+Out+Becomes+Caveat+of+Cancel+Culture

Sara Sahagun, Senior Staff Writer

Cancel culture. What is it? Why is it a thing? When did it start? How does it work? These are all questions you may be wondering about. Don’t worry though, you won’t be CANCELLED for asking! 

Cancel Culture: This term is defined as: A group engaged in the act of canceling someone or something when people stop giving their support to that person, who is usually a celebrity or well known person. According to online sources, Cancel culture became popular in 2018, after the word was used to show the end of support towards many social media influencers and youtubers. The reason for being cancelled differs, but most often is because the person has expressed opinions or performed actions that are offensive to the leading group or popular faction. Being cancelled may be one of the most unforgiving things to happen to someone–on a personal and career level. Once a person, idea or action is “cancelled,”  word spreads fast and soon social media does its job of dispersing the latest information. 

The Good and the Bad: Cancel culture, like most things, expresses good and bad qualities. Cancelling occasionally does a good job of holding racists, sexists, misogynists, assaulters, and abusers accountable for their wrong doings. Kyle Walker, a senior at Hubbard High School says, “Sometimes, cancelling someone is a bit extreme. I think it does a good job of holding people responsible though. It’s easier to stop supporting a bad person when people speak out against them.” Some influencers definitely don’t deserve the support that they receive, especially those who repeat their mistakes and don’t take accountability for their actions. That’s when cancel culture is beneficial. It’s quite fascinating how an entire community of strangers can come together as one to stop the encouragement of people who would typically get away with their wrongdoings. 

Though beneficial at times, this extreme act could be harmful to many. Primarily, it is most harmful because the determination is made by the group who thinks that they have the right to judge, dismiss or condemn others.  In a democracy, this mindset presents a dangerous precedent.  According to an online article from Reason: “Fortunately, the United States has a First Amendment that forbids the government from punishing people for “offensive” writing and thought crimes. Our nation has a free-wheeling environment, where everyone can spout off about anything. Yet, even in this brave new social media world, the totalitarian mindset runs deep. Many Americans are eager to “cancel” people who utter unpopular or inappropriate thoughts.”

There have been many influencers who have been cancelled over things that they said when they were as young as 13 years old. It’s understandable that everyone makes mistakes and ignorance radiates in young people, but after years of growth and learning, shouldn’t these things be left in the past? Should people be cancelled over things they did or said when they were younger? If they acknowledge the situation and apologize, maybe they don’t deserve to be bashed by millions of strangers on the internet. People have the ability to change as they get older and wiser. A large number of cancelled celebrities, politicians and influencers deserve a second chance to change. 

How Far is Too Far?   Can you imagine everyone on social media hating you? The word “cancelled” comes with death threats, harassment, hate, and sometimes, even assault. Hashtags like “___ IsOverParty” trend (an online hashtag that exposes celebrities for inappropriate or problematic behavior) on Twitter and threads are filled with threats, hate, and harsh words towards people. More often than not, the allegations leading to cancellation are not supported with strong evidence. These claims start with one person, and spread quickly through the media. Lives could be ruined and careers destroyed over a mistake made years ago. Gabi Jones, a senior at Hubbard says, “How do we know that the person making the allegations is telling the truth? I do believe that people should face the consequences of their actions, but does any developing teenager deserve to be punished in such an unforgiving way?” And the answer is no. Perhaps this has gone too far.

Cancel or Be Cancelled: Additionally, Cancel culture causes a chain reaction. Once it starts, it doesn’t stop and the consequences keep on coming. It seems inevitable. If you support someone or something that everyone else has cancelled, you become the bad guy. Cancel culture is toxic, regardless of the pros and cons. It would be difficult for anyone to come back from the punishment of being cancelled. For now it seems that cancel culture is here to stay, for better or for worse, but you can do your part as a free-thinking and open-minded individual to ignore or not engage in the act of cancelling. 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://wwhttps://reason.com/2020/08/07/cancel-culture-is-a-dangerous-totalitarian-trend/w.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/cancel-culture-words-were-watching#:~:text=To%20cancel%20someone%20

‘Cancel Culture’ Is a Dangerous, Totalitarian Trend