LET’S TALK: CANCEL CULTURE


Lifestyle / Sunday, December 6th, 2020

Hello, hi. Welcome back guys.

This week, one of my faves fell victim to what we know as “cancel culture”. Now, cancel culture isn’t new but in recent times where everyone is on edge – the world moves to cancel celebrities and influencers swiftly and cleanly. In a society where your fame is dependent on how people receive you, I can imagine this to be a great fear for those in the public eye. Before we dive into this, let’s define cancel culture:

cancel culture (courtesy of wiki):

modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles – either online on social media, in the real world, or both.

This definition seems a little much, but you get the point. Cancel culture, in other words, is casting someone out. Usually, not much is necessary to warrant a big cancel mark next to a celebrity’s credentials – some might say the world is overly sensitive these days. However, I stand by the idea of no one being above correction. To catch you guys up to speed, Letitia Wright caught some smoke on Twitter a couple of days ago because she posted a sermon by a pastor. The pastor had been heavily linked to spreading a lot of anti-vax material, in addition to allegedly (please, I said allegedly) being right-wing.

The conversation surrounding the COVID vaccine is one that is already very sensitive. All I’ll say is do your own research; this is the one thing that the outside world shouldn’t influence you on. You should be able to come to a decision based on your own investigation as opposed to social pressure. That being said, I do think a conversation needs to be had about celebrity responsibility and the use of their platform.

Ultimately, celebrities have a platform that reaches a large number of people. With that comes a lot of power, and of course – “with great power, comes great responsibility” ( word to Peter Parker). We are past the excuse of celebrities being “unaware of how much power they have” because when it was time to increase voter turnout in the US, everyone recognised both their power and their responsibility. Miss Wright caught smoke because she seemed to forget the power her platform has, and with a topic as sensitive as the COVID vaccine? All the wrong choices were made. That being said, I do think the internet takes no prisoners and can be very harsh when it comes to correcting celebrity mistakes.

Everyone should be given the space to learn and grow, and sometimes people in the public eye aren’t afforded that privilege. Celebrities tend to confuse correction and backlash as a way of silencing their opinion, but I think the loudest reason for all the backlash is because when these opinions are publicised to such a hefty platform, they can be quite harmful.

There are so many topics in which people are afraid to speak on at the risk of being cancelled, but the only true way to be cancelled is if you say something harmful about these topics. Which is fair, no? Freedom of speech and all that stuff, we’ve heard; but ultimately, a harmful opinion/ ignorant statement is open to criticism and correction. Albeit aggressive sometimes, I’d like to believe there are voices in that crowd of people with pitchforks, attempting to educate the person with the harmful viewpoint.

Cancel culture is something a lot of people fear, but recently I’ve started to think that society may be trying to protect itself with the use of cancel culture. Naturally, there are levels to this; topics that are trivial e.g celebrity fights and drama are rarely ever worth getting cancelled over. However, the topics where celebrity influence can really make or break the opinions of others e.g politics, healthcare and gender identity, caution should be exercised. Being a celebrity, especially in recent times, is delicate. Unfortunately, that means there are some things they should keep in the group chat. Why does everyone want to stress out their publicist? I don’t think it’s a “do or die” to publicise any and every thought – especially those of a sensitive nature. Call it censorship, I call it protecting the peace.

Ultimately, I’m led to believe cancel culture means well. From what I gather, it’s focused on eliminating toxic opinions and behaviours. Yes, it can be said that this is silencing people and dashing us all in echo chambers. However, I don’t see the blocking of harmful opinions as a cause I need to fight for, or a hill I need to die on. Nevertheless, I do think educating and trying to correct people where you can is enough, as opposed to slapping a red “cancelled” sign over someone’s credentials. Celebrities are both fortunate and unfortunate for the platform that they’ve been given. Regardless of whether they care – they have to be wary of what they post online. The alternative is to be fine with catching smoke from society and getting “cancelled”.

That’s just the way it is (things will never be the same xo)

see ya’ll in the next one.

with all my love,

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