CELEBRITIES GETTING ‘KICKED’ OFF SOCIAL MEDIA
In the past few years, a new phenomenon that has developed within social media platforms such as Twitter’s “Cancel Culture”.
So what exactly is Cancel Culture? Cancel Culture is a term invented by Twitter users that describes the process of “de-platforming” influencers or public figures who have gotten away with saying problematic statements or performing problematic actions and then “canceling” them. “What started as a method to expose well-known celebrities who have gotten away with questionable acts, has recently spiraled into a witch hunt on the internet to examine influencers and celebrities and “cancel” them for their wrongs.”
Many would agree that in the past there have been examples of “canceled” celebrities whose “de-platforming” was well deserved. Among these celebrities are Harvey Weinstein, a huge movie mogul who was given a penalty of 23 years after decades of rape and sexual assault allegations caught up to him, and R.Kelly, a popular singer who was sent to prison after many counts of sexual abuse, some of which involved minors.
In the beginning, people argued that Cancel Culture started as a good thing, because it made celebrities more aware of how their harmful actions were being watched. Like non-Black celebrities getting caught using the N-word slur, or the many celebrities with rape allegations out against them. But it quickly turned into a movement where people began searching for reasons to cancel celebrities that they don’t like.
An example of this is the situation that happened with Doja Cat this past May. After videos surfaced appearing to show Doja Cat participating in online video chatrooms, allegations came out that these chat rooms also included white supremacists. People even went on to say that Doja Cat told the white supremacists she “wished that she were white” and hated being black. Overnight, the hashtag #DojaCatisOverParty was the number 1 trending topic on Twitter and stayed that way for the next week. Doja Cat quickly went on Instagram Live and debunked everything that people were saying about her, and people quickly realized that many of the rumors that were spread were here-say with no actual evidence backing it up. Although the situation was cleared up, millions of people still believe that Doja Cat hates her skin color.
Along with the issue of people being wrongfully “canceled,” there is also a problem with people being rightfully “canceled” while still retaining their platform and the means to make millions of dollars. This is very prevalent with artists such as 6ix9ine, who still makes millions of dollars in profits on his music even though he was “canceled” for participating in the filming of child pornography.
There is also the presence of countless “Tik Tok” stars getting caught using the N-word and receiving no real repercussions. “Lil Huddy,” a Tik Tok user with over 24 million followers who was “canceled” after a recent video surfaced of him using the N-word. Instead of discontinuing their support for him, a lot of Tik Tok users turned it into a joke, referring to him as their “Black king” in his comment sections, even though “Lil Huddy” is, in fact, white. The joke did not sit well with a lot of other creators on the app and led a lot of people to question if “canceling” even did anything.
So, how do you avoid being canceled? Well, so far, you really don’t. As counterintuitive as it sounds, most celebrities and big influencers just wait for everyone to forget what they did, and live as if it didn’t happen. Even when Doja Cat debunked all the rumors spread about her, there were still people who didn’t believe her and believed whatever they want to.
So then what is the point of Cancel culture? It seems like apologies can only do so much to help fix reputations. And does being canceled actually hold up? How else should we be holding these stars accountable when they actually do something wrong? Maybe it isn’t always necessary to cancel a whole celebrities career for doing something out of line. Where do we draw the line?