Updated: Dec 1, 2020
The Definition of Cancel Culture:
Cancel Culture (n): The practice of withdrawing support from public figures or companies after they have done something deemed to be objectionable or offensive.
Social Media and Cancel Culture:
With the many social platforms that exist there comes many new interesting trends, challenges, and slang. These platforms have their benefits and their drawbacks. Social media can be a wonderful place, allowing millions to share their voices from all over the world. However, these platforms can create a hostile environment and allow for bullying to occur much more often. From the practice of doxxing, to spamming someone through multiple platforms, and even to mass group shaming (i.e. cancel culture), bullying has become prominent and even deemed as acceptable.
Cancel culture has become a buzzword in general, everyone is waiting for it to be announced on twitter who the next famous individual is to be canceled. Although the definition of cancel culture states that it is an act of withdrawing support from a public figure/ company, that is only the surface appearance. The reality of cancel culture is that it is used maliciously.Those who advocate for it do not support the true withdrawal of support from an individual with fame but instead look for an opportunity to shame and verbally assault them. For example, James Charles, a famous beauty guru, was canceled months ago for multiple reasons but a large part is that he was accused of being a predator. Now, this resulted in serious problems for multiple reasons: 1) Charles is a gay man, he already faces threats of violence and discrimination, this furthered these hateful actions, and 2) The accusations were proven to be false, but he still was bullied as a result of it. Not only did those accusations result in grown adults publicly making videos shaming and canceling him, but it also resulted in damage to his career. In this instance cancel culture was not used as a sort of vigilante tool but rather one of torment.
The Use of Cancel Culture:
Often more than not, the grounds for canceling someone are debased and there simply is not enough evidence to do so. But instead of critically thinking, many will jump the gun and choose to subscribe to the popular trend of bullying someone. This is not to say that the horrendous actions of those with a popular following should not be denounced or ignored, rather than at most times it is not done properly.
Cancel culture is often enforced hypocritically and is not used in the way it is implied to be used. A wonderful example of this is the famous tik toker known as “Lil Huddy” (aka Chase Hudson). Hudson has recorded videos of him saying the “N-word” although he is white, however, he has faced barely any backlash for his actions. Under the definition of cancel culture and the agreed-upon belief by millions that one should not say that word unless black, he has committed an offense that should have received some backlash. Instead, Hudson has gained an even bigger following and the instance has almost become forgotten.
Moreover, a famous beauty guru by the name of Nikita Dragun has multiple instances, of what some consider to be blackface, of herself taking pictures with a foundation that is far too dark for her natural skin tone. Yet Miss Dragun has yet to receive any real consequences for her offensive actions. There are far many more examples but these prove that cancel culture exists in a hypocritical state. Although both parties have committed offensive actions neither has truly been “canceled”. This is because cancel culture is nothing more than an empty label. It is simply another disguise for the millions on social media platforms to wear. Those who practice cancel culture aim to act as a vigilante but instead adopt the role of a bully. However, this does not mean that there cannot be a practice that is akin to cancel culture but results in positive reform.
A Solution to Cancel Culture:
To truly achieve the actual definition of what cancel culture is one would simply withdraw support from that person/company. This does not mean that someone could not enjoy the music/ art from that person or company, but rather if they find it ethically necessary to just not support them. Whether it be music, art, clothes, videos, or any other products of their’s it would be easier for one to ignore them and not use their products than to bully them. As bullying creates a culture of toxicity that is not necessary or the right thing to have in this day and age.
All in all, Cancel Culture is not something that should be taken lightly and should be something that is examined far more in-depth and analyzed deeply. Thanks for reading!!
Little Rock, AR
Parkview Arts/ Science Magnet High School Junior