Social media has been growing in the past few years, and celebrities and influencers use these platforms to talk to their fans or post pictures about things going on in their daily lives and even to promote any material such as music and movies. Because of the popularity of social media, more people are joining these platforms every day. There are celebrities who have been using these platforms before they became famous.
Nowadays, it is common for people to go through the profiles of these tweets to see if they have tweeted out any negative sentiments towards others. To our surprise, there have been celebrities who have had a bad past of tweeting negative sentiments towards other people or have said outright shocking things that wouldn’t fly today. Influencers are no exceptions to this. Many YouTubers and Tiktok influencers continue to be called out such as Dixie D’Amelio for acting “entitled” after spitting food out on camera that was made by a personal chef or James Charles for traveling in the middle of a pandemic. Repeatedly.
In our culture, we refer to this as “Cancel Culture”.
Many celebrities too have experienced this one way or another too. Celebrities like Chrissy Teigen and Ellen DeGeneres have experienced this recently because of tweets and allegations that have come out. This means that an individual or a group of people will call this person out publicly for their statements that they have made. Usually, the person who is subjected to this will be called out, many people will unfollow, possibly lose deals with companies if they have any or they will lose roles in shows, followers and they will temporarily be shunned until they apologize for what they have done. Most of the time, when they make an apology and from there, people will decide to forgive them, or not.
What makes this process interesting is that the public acts like the court. Cancel culture shouldn’t be about cancelling a person altogether; it makes sense that holding a person accountable for past actions should be accepted, but not cancelled if it’s their first time. Maybe they have grown, and they meant their apology because they didn’t mean it or because they weren’t educated enough about the subject.
If a person continues to be held accountable for past actions and even in the present day because they won’t learn or they refuse to, then they should be “cancelled”. There are celebrities who have been called out for past behavior, but they own up to those mistakes, or at least that’s what they want us to think. One of the most famous apologies of the past year is Jeffree Star. He tends to apologize for the same mistakes, but continues to do the things that keep getting cancelled. His apologies seem like they are made by his PR team.
How do we know if their apologies are sincere if they keep getting held accountable? Some apologizes are easy to see that they just care about their image, and others are not.
Cancel culture is something that has been controversial this past year because some believe that it is ridiculous to “cancel” someone. The term “cancel” should just be replaced with “accountability” because in the end, no one knows if the apology that is given by the person being cancelled is sincere. It also known that sometimes, they won’t lose their deals with companies unless people will actively tweet and call out the companies. There are people who deserved to get cancelled more than anyone, but sometimes people don’t care, and if they try to, there will be a war on social media. Most of these cancellations happen on Twitter, and usually people will argue about whether a cancellation is valid.
Cancel culture shouldn’t be abolished, but rather figure out how to make a person be held accountable for their past actions. Most of the time, these are valid but sometimes, they are not. As a society, we should understand and know how to “cancel” or “hold” accountable, but it is also up to the person being cancelled as to whether they want to educate themselves, instead of the society doing it for them.
Illustration by Hallie Mayes