#Cancelled – The Toxicity of Cancel Culture

I’m sure you’ve seen a hashtag trending on Twitter saying some celebrity or thing is “cancelled.” There was a period when every time I logged into Twitter another person was cancelled. At this point, nearly everyone has been cancelled for one reason or another.

It’s time we cancel “cancel culture.”

Over the years countless celebrities – from Bill Gates to Kanye West to Antoni Porowski  – have been cancelled. What does it mean to be cancelled?

In simple terms, to cancel someone is to stop following them because they are “problematic.” In actuality, cancelling someone is far more complex because there isn’t a simple definition for what it means to be problematic, and there are worse consequences than just losing followers.

Celebrities can be considered problematic for racism or being anti-vaxx, while in other cases people cancel celebrities for doing something they disagree with like eating pineapple on pizza. The most disturbing cases of celebrities being cancelled are when people seek out old tweets, snapshots of videos, or jump to conclusions on unfounded claims.

Recently, so many celebrities have been cancelled due to people digging up old tweets or old comments. In the past few months, two celebrities have been in the news for things that caused fans to “cancel” them.

Shane Dawson has been in the news multiple times in the past few months for various scandals resulting from deep dives into his past. Dawson is well known for his Youtube docuseries that garnered tens of millions of views.

In January of 2018, clips from Dawson’s podcast Shane and Friends resurfaced revealing jokes Dawson made about finding a six-year-old sexy. In the last week, another clip from Dawson’s podcast resurfaced showcasing a joke Dawson made about having sex with his cat. These two instances caused a frenzy on social media where people were quick to cancel Shane.

It may seem like a good idea to cancel Dawson based on these allegations. With further research you can see that it’s actually really detrimental to Dawson. These allegations against Dawson are false and just offensive jokes Dawson used to make.

Dawson’s old brand was based on shock comedy in which he would say very offensive jokes. He has since apologized and regrets his previous jokes. He went to Twitter after the recent incident saying, “My goal with the podcast and with my videos years ago was to tell shocking stories that would make people laugh and scream ‘OMG NO U DIDNT!!’ and think i was ‘soooo crazy.’ its embarrassing and i f[*]cking hate myself for it.”

Old tweets from celebs are often dug up and cause a lot of controversy. As seen with James Gunn and Kevin Hart, these old statements don’t represent who they are in the present. The problem with digging up old tweets is that it damages their brand. As people whose jobs depend on having a good reputation, damaging it based on things they said in their past is honestly horrible.

Everyone grows. Everyone has said something in their past that they regret today. Cancelling someone and thus hurting their jobs because of tweets someone dug up from 5+ years ago is so awful. This not only hurts their professional lives, but also their personal.

Dawson got engaged to his boyfriend, Ryland Adams, only days after the cat controversy. Due to the timing, many were quick to accuse Dawson of proposing to his boyfriend to cover up the cat controversy. People were ruining what is supposed to be a happy time in their lives because Dawson was “cancelled.” This need to find any way to cancel someone is really toxic.

People digging into one’s past to find every mistake they make is detrimental. It prevents people from making mistakes and learning from them as they grow. Cancel culture is built on the idea of maliciously calling out people on the internet. There is no attempt to teach or inform others, which is what makes this culture so toxic. It’s unrealistic to expect everyone to be perfect and completely “woke” from the beginning.

 

Cancel culture needs to be cancelled. Everyone has different opinions. Everyone grows and makes mistakes. We need to learn to teach and inform others rather than be so quick to cancel.

 

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