OP ED: Is It Time to Cancel Cancel Culture?

Angelic Menzel, Staff Reporter, Junior

Cancel culture is a phenomenon used to “cancel” a public figure, show, event, etc. by not showing support to that person, group or thing. The “canceling” of whomever or whatever, is meant to be targeted towards offensive behaviors or ideologies. The objective of cancel culture is meant to shut down offensive behaviors and words only. Recently many people have abused the power surrounding canceling leading to false accusations and many misunderstandings, ruining the reputations of many. 

It’s important to look out for toxic people or behavior and realize that it should not be tolerated nor supported. Discourse over this behavior should not be violent or extreme, however. Educating those involved and taking part in difficult discussions brings about more effective change than an attempt to cancel someone.

“I find it an unreasonable mob mentality which only succeeds in harassing someone until they comply with your agenda, and not enlightening them or teaching them to change for the better,” said Rosalie Ascher, a junior. 

When someone posts an idea or statement based upon opinion, such ideas are bound to clash with others. It’s very common to see people on social media harass and or attempt to cancel someone who may simply not know or understand what they did wrong. 

Cancel culture tries to silence and or demonize those who have different or opposing beliefs. In many cases, this has proven to be put to good use. For example, the fashion brand Dolce Gabbana has been “canceled” for a racist marketing campaign and leaked messages. The response gave much backlash towards the brand and cost millions of dollars due to canceled shows. Though in most cases, it only takes away any attempt to have honest discussions that could uncover the truth. 

The majority of people who get canceled are hardly the ones who deserve it. For example, Tom Felton, a famous British Actor was on the brink of being canceled for allegations of sending flirtatious messages to a teen girl on Instagram. Many people were quick to believe such allegations and went to Twitter to harass and seek to cancel him. There was almost no attempt in trying to communicate with him or hear his perspective, people only wanted to label him as canceled and move on. The allegations were later proven false and were eventually dropped, but the alleged incident still damaged his image as a public figure greatly.    

Those that do deserve to be canceled are sometimes called out and receive backlash, but in most cases it is short-lived. For example, American rapper 6ix9ine has been canceled for being abusive and homophobic yet still manages to top music charts with the support of his fans. Cancel culture can also be argued as ineffective for those who truly deserve to be canceled. It’s often seen that no actual change is created so the goal of shutting out offensive and toxic ideology does not work, as new offenders will just spring up. Unlike when it comes to canceling criminals and toxic people in general, it does not allow for people who are young, or simply unaware to grow or learn from their mistakes. It makes it more difficult to differentiate between those who are genuinely apologetic and those who do not care.    

 In order to have a more productive discourse online, people must learn to listen to more than one perspective. Sometimes valuable information and or explanations are provided through other points of view. Canceling someone does not allow for one to learn or understand exactly where one might have gone wrong, and rather communication needs to be prioritized in order to create understanding and change.