What is Cancel Culture?
Well, cancel culture or mute culture is an internet-based declaration for individuals to cut all ties to famous people who either have said or done things offensive or destructive. It’s based on shock, outrage and disgust. It can range from saying something ignorant to the more serious cases like violence, rape and even murder. In most cases, as stated earlier, it mostly applies to celebrities or notable figures. To “cancel” them means to no longer support famous people financially or emotionally. You don’t buy or listen to their music, watch their movies and TV shows, purchase their art, etc.
What’s the point in cancelling someone?
People believe that by removing a famous person from your system and avoid him or her and their work, you will not only make a statement standing up to their foolishness, but also put a dent in their income and influence. And the more people who join in, the more serious the damage becomes. The hope will be that the person either learns a lesson and apologize. gets broke or get some sort of legal punishment like a lawsuit or prison sentence.
What are some examples?
There are a lot. Too many to name all at once, the list continues to pile on. Though all of the following haven’t been called out in a sense, what they did or said can very likely enable folks to do so:
During an interview with Good Morning America, actor Liam Neeson confessed to an incident involving a loved one being raped. The suspect was a black man. Neeson confessed that he wanted to find a black person, any black person, and kill him.
Actor and comedian Kevin Hart was supposed to host this year’s Oscar ceremony, but it was no longer the case after past homophobic tweets resurfaced.
Director James Gunn was fired from filming Guardians of the Galaxy 3 after a resurface of past tweets that joked about child abuse and pedophilia.
It can even apply to figures that have long since passed on, but whose disturbing histories have been uncovered.
Famed author Charles Dickens have recently been discovered as having his wife and mother of his children Catherine thrown into an asylum while he pursued an 18 year-old actress.
Legendary actor John Wayne has been called out after an old 1971 interview with adult magazine Playboy in which he supported white supremacy.
Is cancelling someone easy?
No. With deceased icons like Dickens and Wayne, cancelling them would be impossible since they’re both dead and that their influence and contributions to society are deeply ingrained. They can never face consequences for their actions in the living world.
One cannot truly omit a famous person from their memory banks whether they want to or not, especially if their legacies have been major. The current discussion on singer Michael Jackson is a prime example. With his past allegations of child molestation revived due in large part to the documentary Leaving Neverland, some people are wondering if it’s wise to cancel him and mute his music.
Like with Dickens and Wayne, Jackson is gone, dead for almost 10 years. Plus, his influence in the music and dance worlds have been heavily significant. He was beloved by so many people during his lifetime up until years before his untimely passing. People who grew up listening to his songs, dancing his dances and even wearing clothing based on him cannot simply “let go” of Jackson’s influence. After his death, he became more iconic and his work more valuable. Although in his later years, people weren’t as adored, partly due to his questionable behavior and legal issues involving pedophila allegations.
Many people can cancel a famous person, but it won’t ultimately effect his or her money. It may leave a scratch in their fame, but they will still have followers and supporters who will outnumber their deserters.
Is it helpful?
Again, many famous people won’t feel or care about their cancellation from some their fans, because they will still have many more who will still support and follow them. Also, cancelling someone is more of an individual case based on emotion. There are no legal punishments and little to no financial ramifications.
Is there a lesson to be learned from cancel culture?
The ultimately lesson is that the people we celebrate or look up to are merely human, and they’re flawed like the rest of us. Cancelling a famous person implies that people see that famous person as without flaws. They’re like saints, angels and gods to them until they their mistakes, misdeeds and crimes are revealed. After which, they’re no longer perfect. They’re every bit as human as the rest of us, and knowing that can be crushing. (It’s called “reckoning”.) But people can and should move on and pick themselves back up after they need time to get their thoughts together. They may no longer be their heroes, but learning that may save people from being confined to a sheltered and possibly unhealthy fantasy.