Updated: Dec 16, 2020
By Cindy Makaba Cancel Culture is the popular practice of withdrawing support for 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 hashtag “canceled” started around 2016. I read “cancel culture—has taken hold in recent years due to conversations prompted by #MeToo and other movements that demand greater accountability from public figures. The term has been credited to black users of Twitter, where it has been used as a hashtag.
As troubling information comes to light regarding celebrities who were once popular, such as Bill Cosby, Michael Jackson, etc. the cancellation is akin to a cancelled contract or a severing of the relationship that once linked a performer to their fans.”
Although canceling has had many benefits and brought many things to light I feel it has done just as much damage. Celebrities or public figures are now more criticized and shamed for their beliefs if the majority of people do not agree. I also noticed callouts are often more vicious online because people are hiding behind a screen and don’t know how much what they say can really affect a person.
Some examples of canceled culture and how they went wrong in my opinion is when Daniel Caesar a musician was accused of being racist when he made a controversial video defending his friend YesJulz. Julz is a social media influencer, she was being “dragged” on Twitter for working with many black women but never giving credit to them.
Caesar made a video defending her saying “Why are we being so mean to White people right now? That's a serious question. Why is it that we're allowed to be disrespectful and rude to everybody else, and when anybody returns any type of energy to us... [...] That's not equality.” Fans responded with them saying they would not be buying his new released album and would be boycotting all his other music. It got so bad that #CancelDanielCaesar was trending on Twitter for hours.
Although I didn’t agree with him defending her, I feel he has a right too. Another celebrity that was canceled before was Sabrina Claudio, a musician, because fans found her old Tweets and Tumblr when she was 14 of her saying it must suck to be a black woman and many other things about women of color. And I again don't agree with what was said but the Tweets were found seven years later and people change. Other celebrities who fans tried to cancel are Oprah Winfrey, Kanye West, James Charles, Taylor Swift etc.
As a society we need to realize it is okay to bring things to light but depending on the mistake a celebrity makes after apologizing and time we shouldn’t hold things against them. Also digging into people’s past to see what they did wrong when they were younger isn’t always sensible because people grow and change, and everyone makes mistakes including them.