Society wanted to find a way to open people’s eyes to the bad things celebrities have done in their life. As they were able to find reasons to get celebrities in trouble, the phrase “cancel” was brought up. But now with the new app TikTok, canceling people has become a hobby. Society has called this lifestyle “cancel culture.” However, TikTok users are questioning, what is worth canceling?
When a person gets canceled, it means that they are no longer supported because of their inappropriate actions. It does not consist of specific people; anyone can be a part of it. But some will continue to support celebrities even after they’re canceled. The main reasons people have been canceled for are often straightforward and reasonable, such as saying racial or homophobic slurs, weight shaming, or other offensive actions regarding sensitive topics.
People who have been canceled in the past include Youtuber Shane Dawson, Lana Del Rey, Jimmy Fallon, J.K. Rowling, and Ellen DeGeneres, to name a few. Most of these celebrities have been canceled for rational reasons such as cruelty, inappropriate jokes, and racist acts. When this happened, society viewed it as good that people were finally seeing that celebrities aren’t these amazing, kind people. But after the realization of the power they possess, cancel culture became abusive.
Having the power to ruin someone’s whole life with just one tweet or comment is dangerous. Canceling someone well-known and famous gives people a sense of righteousness and control. An example of a victim of these false accusations is celebrity Michael Clifford.
Michael Clifford is in the famous band 5 Seconds of Summer and is the leading guitarist. In the summer of 2020, a tweet went out about a fan’s past with the band. She was sexually assaulted during a 5 Seconds of Summer concert in 2015 and believed the assaulter to be Clifford. When everyone found out, they started the hashtag #MichaelCliffordisoverparty. Not even 24 hours later, the fan base investigated the accusation and found out that there was a group of boys dressing up as bandmates and assaulting young fans. Many were quick to accuse Clifford, causing him to go as far as to apologize for something he hadn’t done.
This was only one of many misleading stories. Cancel culture has become a great example of good gone bad. In the beginning, people began to bring into view the terrible things that influencers have done to bring awareness and hold them accountable for their actions. But after a few practice rounds, the power started to set in. Celebrities left and right started to be canceled, many for something that happened years ago. Society loves to remind people of their mistakes even when the celebrity is aware of what they did and have grown from it. Cancel culture seems to think that celebrities aren’t humans that learn from their mistakes.
People make mistakes but there’s a line between what should be canceled and what is just a small mistake. Cancel culture has become toxic and brutal. It reinforces the idea of only displaying weaknesses and not offering second chances. Society needs to realize that people, and themselves, make mistakes and should be able to grow from them.
Kate Prentice // Staff Writer