“You’re Canceled!” Society’s way of Picking and Choosing

Morgan Daniels

“I’m what?”
“You’re Canceled!”

With everything going on in the media, government, and just around the world, the word, “canceling” is looking really good to some people. Trump, COVID-19, 2020…what do all of these have in common? The potential to get canceled. But here is the real question, amidst all of the chaos, are a few tweets on twitter going to help any of this?

Social media has come up with multiple mechanisms to show when people don’t like something or someone, one of the more recent examples is being canceled or “cancel culture.” Particularly geared towards celebrities, cancel culture is used when a famous person says something offensive or if some old racist tweet from 2009 was dug up and sent around online. Of course, when a public figure does something most would call unsavory or just flat out racist they need to face the consequences of their actions no matter how old, but when does cancel culture become toxic?

There are certain levels to this, first, there are the very problematic opinions voiced on TV.

In 2018, Kanye West stirred up a bit of drama when according to TMZ, he said during an interview, “When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years?! That sounds like a choice.”

This statement sent social media into a frenzy with West getting “canceled” left and right. The question is: did he deserve it? He should have kept his opinion to himself because there was so much wrong with the statement, and even though he got all this hate, he probably didn’t really care, and he will continue to say whatever he wants.

Next, there are the old racist tweets dug up from the early 2000s. Pop-singer Camilla Cabello had a One Direction account but it was taken down for the foul language she used on it, such as using the N-word and other racial slurs. Once it was dug up more recently she was of course… “canceled”. The young artist then took to social media with an apology.

“When I was younger, I used language that I’m deeply ashamed of and will regret forever,” Cabello wrote. “I was uneducated and ignorant and once I became aware of the history and the weight and the true meaning behind this horrible and hurtful language, I was deeply embarrassed I ever used it.”

The thing about cancel culture is that even if you apologize, oftentimes it seems like a fake apology, and after you have been labeled as canceled, people don’t just let that go easily.

On a more serious level, there are things and people that very much deserve to be canceled such as R.Kelly. According to Vox, he was arrested on federal sex crime charges. The internet took the right route for this one, leaving comments about how horrible this is, not listening to music, etc. When a celebrity does something like this, there are bound to be tons of consequences. At this point, they certainly don’t deserve to gain money from people listening to their music or liking their posts on Instagram.

There’s a lot of levels and layers to the topic of cancel culture along with a ton of questions: Is it too toxic? Who should be canceled? What kind of things deserve to be canceled? With social media these days those questions are only going to multiply.

As always, everyone should think before they snap, tweet or post because you could be hurting others online, but also remember, really think about which celebrities you support.