Courtesy of John Rojas

Cancel culture: One strike, you’re out!

Cancel culture is meant to uphold a certain level of accountability amongst society, but the standards have become a bit unrealistic.

Political correctness is the newest obsession and cancel culture is, essentially, when people who have said or done problematic things either now or in the past are decidedly “canceled,” and people no longer support them or their endeavors. Although it is important to be conscientious of who you support and the ethical implications that come with supporting them, questions arise: Where is the line? Where is the statute of limitations on problematic words and behavior? When is “young and ignorant” no longer a valid excuse?

There is an expectation today to be, on some level, socially aware. We have all been given access to various platforms to broadcast our every thought, and with this platform has come the ability for those sentiments to be immortalized as well. This—mixed with our society’s newfound social awareness—has led to people actually being held accountable now. While this shift is a necessary part of the progression of our society, there have been many casualties of this cultural change.

In this day and age, examples are everywhere. Celebrities are called out for problematic behavior or racist remarks and losing everything from record deals to television shows. These attacks usually come in the form of people dredging up questionable, often old social media posts from celebrities.

Take the example of Doja Cat, who continuously failed to grasp the ethics of where she had erred when it was exposed that she had repeatedly used homophobic slurs on social media years before she become a recognized artist. In this particular instance, past tweets of hers were discovered and revealed her casual usage of “faggot.” Though an apology was issued, there still lingers a dark cloud of misunderstanding. The public can outcry and demand an apology, but what we can’t do is expect them to understand.

Where cancel culture truly originates is the idea that because certain people may have a platform and/or make loved content, they are suddenly socially aware. People still suck even when they make good music.

There are positives that derive from cancel culture, such as the fact that we now have the power to hold celebrities accountable for their actions, demanding that they act as better members of society. On the other hand, the culture perpetuates an anti-growth narrative. 

Discovering dated remarks that are sexist, facist and/or racist should never be ignored or dismissed. The line begins to blur when addressing the matter is merely an act of negativity and not a learning experience. Not everyone wants to learn, and not everyone deserves your energy to teach.

The fact of the matter is that whether you believe in cancel culture or empathizing with everyone, our energy should be diverted elsewhere. These celebrities that vote a certain way, behave a certain way or look a certain will probably never change. No think piece, social post or anything of the sort are needed. No one requires forgiveness. Take care of yourself first.