A+E: A Cry For Help, The Truth Behind “Cancel Culture”

by Joaquin Medrano, Managing Editor

Over the last few years, the infamous Gen Z – as well as Millennials – have “canceled” more celebrities than other generations in previous years

The term “Cancel Culture” has been used broadly amongst many teens and young adults over the last few years. The term itself, amongst the younger generations, is associated with the widespread desire to stop supporting major celebrities or corporations in order to protest or boycott them due to mistakes they made.

Many celebrities and YouTube stars such as Doja Cat, Ellen DeGeneres, Kanye West, Trisha Paytas and countless others have been canceled, but are also figures that show that Cancel Culture itself is a faulty system that has come with younger generations fully indulged in the pleasures of the powerful presence they hold on social media.

During the past few months in quarantine, many celebrities were affected for mistakes that rose from the depths of the internet, despite those mistakes having occurred several years ago.

What all of these celebrities have in common is that at one moment, they were at the bottom, and the next day it was like nothing happened, with another celebrity getting canceled as life moved on within the social media platforms.

Cancel culture was established as a way to hold people accountable for their mistakes, as a way to give them time and space to rethink their choices and how they can raise awareness as they are constantly over the spotlight, in order to stop the youth and their fans from making those same mistakes in the future.

Now, it is seen as a form of entertainment, which leaves many wondering, which celebrity may get canceled today? Who is finally getting called out for a semi-offensive tweet from 2010?

In the sense of holding people accountable, the motives are well respected, as long as people are willing to move on after a sincere apology from the celebrity they canceled. However, the resentment held toward these celebrities only makes them more famous and has fixed nothing in the process – sure, they are canceled, but are still trending everywhere.

The fallacy within Cancel Culture is that celebrities are not affected in a negative way or have intents to change their ways, as they see that controversy brings attention, which is followed by increased fame, money, and free promo for whatever they may be doing at that time. 

In the case of Kanye West, for example, he is one of the most canceled/uncanceled celebrities at the moment. He uses controversy to sell his image, and in that way attract more people to purchase or support anything Kanye tells them.

It is free publicity for an artist, especially if their careers are on the brink of falling apart, causing only scandals for show and giving a bad example to their followers. The people on social media who do the canceling gain nothing, while the celebrity gains the attention they so desire.

Growing up in an era where everyone is getting canceled and uncanceled every week is not a good example for many followers and the integrity in which celebrities are expected to act. In many ways, it lowers the bar for celebrities, and may even prompt attention seeking influencers to intentionally get canceled for fame.

Everything that cancel culture stands for is being lost, as it is now just a way to find free publicity within increasingly competitive media markets.

Raising awareness about the dangers of cancel culture is extremely important, as not only does it stop people from obtaining free publicity, but also allows for healthier means of entertainment, like in good 1960s comedies.

As time moves on, American entertainment continues to go downhill, with examples of trying to damage others by bringing the past into the present and not allowing for growth in a person. 

If accountability for a person is crucial, then cancel culture should cease to exist, and raising awareness should be what replaces this culture, without damaging others’ feelings.

Accountability is to take action to move towards greatness, while cancel culture is free publicity on mistakes a person will never take responsibility or feel remorse for.

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