‘Cancel culture refers to the popular practice of withdrawing support for cancelling public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive. Cancel culture is generally discussed as being performed on social media in the form of group shaming.’
The development of the “cancelling” of individuals, brands, and even shows and films thanks to what some bear in mind to be offensive or problematic remarks or ideologies, isn’t all that new. Societies have shunned individuals for behaving outside of perceived social norms for hundreds of years, and this is often simply another variation. The entire premise behind this ideology is to cancel/cut out/stop being friends with those who allegedly are perpetuating or engaging in problematic behaviours.
At an initial glance, it reasonably is smart. We must always hold people accountable, especially if they are repeat abusers of power and people. Over the previous few years, the social-media trend has gained momentum below the fashionable new name — putting celebrities, firms, and media alike below a microscope of correctness.
“Twitter, do your thing”- This widespread request amongst the platform’s users actively encourages someone to be placed under the magnifier. Twitter users are typically famous for their FBI-like fact-finding skills- exhumation of past dirt, recent secrets, and discovering people’s identities are their speciality and they are currently being used for the promotion of cancel culture.
In 2019 alone, the list of individuals who’ve faced this ‘cancellation’ included alleged sexual predators like R. Kelly; entertainers like Kanye West, Scarlett Johansson, and Gina Rodriguez, who all had offensive foot-in-mouth moments; and comedians like Kevin Hart and Shane Gillis, who faced public backlash when social media users unearthed prejudiced and racist jokes they’d created within the past.
The #MeToo movement was also fuelled by the cancel culture and plenty of victims found a voice amidst this culture. Public figures like Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein, and plenty of perpetrators like them were effectively cancelled as the movement unfolded. This culture held everyone responsible for the idea of what they did, what they said, or what they posted.
Cancel culture, though, isn’t exclusive to celebrities. Companies and brands are under fire for racist imagery too.
With cancel, culture follows apologies for the actions that caused the cancellation in the first place. The #IsOverParty is an ode to cancel culture which trends after a person has been cancelled. It’s the nature of public introspection and apology that the celebrity engages in when called out by fans that often determines if, and for how long, they’re cancelled.
However, that is not what cancel culture is currently. Instead, we tend to see people with personal vendettas singling out and ostracizing one person due to personal problems that might be resolved with straightforward and firm communication, or might have simply been avoided if people acted fairly.
Nowadays, we are quick to cancel and not so quick to forgive or believe that people can learn from mistakes and they are capable of rehabilitation. People can grow if given the chance. This intolerance has led people to carry out cancellations by digging up years-old dirt just to publically humiliate the person they don’t agree with. This culture started as a pure thing but has now become toxic that is ever-growing amongst people. The people who oppose this culture have also been subjected to constant humiliation and ‘cancellation’ from the self-proclaimed moral police of social media which has led to unnecessary difficulties in their life.
Rejecting cancelled culture doesn’t mean rejecting the principles of social justice and the push for equality that fuels it. This doesn’t mean suppressing our reactions or forgoing answerability. On the contrary, it means giving ourselves space to honour our feelings of unhappiness and anger, and conjointly not reacting in an exceeding method which means that others are incapable of compassion and change.
The distinction between cancel culture and a more reuniting, transformational approach to a disagreement is the distinction between expecting amends and never letting a wound shut.
The view that a traditional approach that includes an apology, atonement, and forgiveness is no longer enough may well be shocking. However, to people who think about cancel culture as an activist movement and push for meaningful modification, it’s a very important tool. And it’s clear that, as controversial as cancel culture is, it’s here to stay.
Know about your Author!!