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If you have any kind of social media account, then you probably know a little bit about “cancel culture.” If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s basically when a celebrity is called out for something they did wrong. In turn this causes them to lose their fan base which makes them “canceled”. Trending hashtags on Twitter such as #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty and #ShaneDawsonIsOverParty have been varied to match whatever celebrity has been in the news lately. Cancel culture has surprisingly become more problematic over the years—maybe even more problematic than the celebrities it was first targeted to get rid of.

It seems like a positive that celebrities are losing supporters when they do something wrong, which I am not arguing that it is in some cases. Someone that is being racist, homophobic, sexist, or something along those lines has every right to be canceled and lose their platform. With that being said though it seems to get out of control at times, if someone says the wrong thing at the wrong time or has done something in the past that they shouldn’t have, Twitter rallies around to shame them—and anyone who likes them. 

One recent example of this that’s caused the negativity of cancel culture to erupt is a story involving Jenna Marbles from YouTube. I am a huge Jenna Marbles fan, and she has been making videos for over a decade; most of her recent content consisted of her dogs, cooking, and having fun with makeup. A few months ago she made a video stating that she would stop making YouTube videos and would essentially remove her presence from the Internet. Of course it was Jenna’s choice to leave YouTube, and she received a lot of support from her fans after making this decision. However, she did say a big push was due to a lot of hateful comments coming her way about past videos that were offensive. Normally this seems like a good reason for someone to come under fire, but Jenna has proved time and time again that she has matured and regrets her unacceptable behavior from the past; she’s acknowledged it on several occasions. She’s used her platform for good, like promoting Black Lives Matter and being a warm presence for others, but now it isn’t there anymore. 

Cancel culture can be ineffective as well. To this day, there are celebrities that absolutely do not deserve a platform, like sexual abuser Woody Allen or racist Jeffree Star, but they still have careers in their own industries. 

The bottom line is that we try to “cancel” celebrities after the slightest thing they do wrong, but we’re all human, even the people we idolize. People don’t always say or do the right thing in the moment, or they have a past they would rather forget. Above all, people change. This isn’t to say that everyone is like this, and yes, some people definitely deserve to lose their followers, but it cannot continue to happen after every little scandal. The standards we set for celebrities need to come down to a manageable limit; even the value we place on their every move needs to be reevaluated.

Jessica Garrison is a professional writing major and women's, gender, and sexuality studies minor at Kutztown University.
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