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Cancel Culture

ELIZABETH LÉKA

Staff Writer

If you have been online in the past month, you have most likely heard about Andrew Tate. The infamous alpha male, a prime example of toxic masculinity, came under fire for targeting young men with his misogynist content. After a long struggle, and getting banned from multiple platforms, he has officially been “canceled.”

I am going to reference “being canceled” and “cancel culture” many times throughout this article, so I might as well explain these terms. Cancel culture refers to someone being deplatformed for a statement they have made, a mindset they encourage, something they have done, or for literally any other reason. That person is subsequently considered canceled. 

It goes without saying that some people deserve to be “canceled.” People like Andrew Tate, James Charles, and Shane Dawson, have all done something unacceptable, and should be held accountable for that. I do not know if any of their misdeeds warrant going to jail, but they definitely deserve their lives and careers being impacted. I am proud that the internet united against these people. I am proud that our “hive mind” (a group mindset) was able to make such an impact. But, for all the “bad” people who are canceled, there are loads of people who do not deserve what the internet has dished out. 

Image courtesy of Elizabeth Léka

For example: one such person whose controversy happened recently is Sydney Sweeney. The Euphoria actress posted pictures from a family reunion, with some family members sporting Blue Lives Matter paraphernalia. The internet erupted (very negatively) and it seems like her career is in jeopardy. While she made the choice to post those pictures, I do not think it is fair to hold her responsible for her family members’ beliefs. And I think most people realized that too, and started backing off. So, the big question: Did she deserve to be canceled? No, not really. Was her response to the whole situation somewhat lacking? Yes, but that should not ruin her career. 

Sydney Sweeney’s story brings to mind an interesting question: even if someone makes a huge mistake, does anyone deserve the death threats and constant hate that the wrath of the internet brings?

The internet is so full of toxicity. No matter the cause, I think we can all agree that canceling people is only adding to the negativity online. People just jump on the bandwagon of hating someone and for a few days all anyone can talk about is how horrid the person in question is. 

New movements to cancel people pop up every day, with varying degrees of validity. One person digs up information, as false as it might be, and everyone else who remotely did not care for the public figure in question in the first place backs them up. It is really unfortunate that every single comment one makes can be completely misconstrued by the internet. That is why so many people are against cancel culture at the moment, because of all the apologies people have to make for things that are not even true. 

But cancel culture could have a negative impact on our society. Anyone with an online presence is at the complete mercy of public opinion. Internet sleuths dig up past misdeeds, every word is scrutinized, and rumors are spread. Nevertheless, people chase fame, and willingly submit themselves to this system. Since they put themselves in that position voluntarily, they are inherently giving consent. Consent is an entirely different discussion, but the point still stands. Since they staked their careers on staying relevant, and being a fairly decent person, they should have to deal with whatever repercussions come up. 

The people who speak out against cancel culture are often the same ones who contribute to it. One day they say how awful it is that their favorite celebrity is being canceled, while the next they are jumping on the bandwagon to cancel someone else. I am definitely guilty of this. I mean, every single person at some point has had a negative thought about another person. We cannot just pretend that 1) this is not happening, and 2) that we are not contributing to it. 

The one thing that we can thank cancel culture for is all of the hilarious apology content. Logan Paul and Tati Westbrook’s videos are staples in the apology world. I remember their apologies more than the scandals themselves. I think personal responsibility is huge, and owning up to your mistakes; I am very glad that these videos exist and remind us to not take things too seriously and know that the internet’s word is not everything.

Do you feel strongly about cancel culture? Do you disagree with what I said? Respond to my article, or any other article you disagree with by filling out this form!

Elizabeth Leka

Editor-in-Chief

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