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‘Cancel Culture’: A Response to the Panic

There are plenty of things that my generation does that concern the media. Thanks to technology, we are (apparently) more self-absorbed and spoiled than any other past generation.But the worst thing that millennials have been doing? Killing comedy, music and everything else surrounding the entertainment industry! Shane Gillis was fired from SNL for telling a few jokes and people are tarnishing the legacy of Michael Jackson and R. Kelly because of unproven allegations. It is cancel culture, seeping into society and turning everyone into babies.

This is something I have been told by several people from generations before my own, most recently when I mentioned that I did not feel comfortable watching “Bohemian Rhapsody” due to the allegations surrounding director Byran Singer. With the rise of the MeToo movement, the conversation surrounding cancel culture is becoming louder than ever.

What I am often told is that allegations are just that, they have not been proven to be true. While there is not always proof in a court of law, there are other things that verify the allegations. Take the Michael Jackson allegations. The documentary showcases multiple documents, phone records and other evidence that solidify the victims’ cases. Besides, the victim-shaming culture of assuming that they are in it for money always made me feel uncomfortable at best.

If crimes are acknowledged, then people sometimes tell me that I should learn to separate the art from the artists and that just because someone does terrible things does not impact the meaning of their work.While many of those accused have undeniably left an impact on our culture, that does not mean that we should continue to support them. The idea of supporting the art of someone with victims churns my stomach.

So, is this proof that our generation is becoming too soft?

No, I think that the MeToo movement is a sign that our society is evolving to be stronger and more human-centered than ever.

In recent years, we have become more conscious about the mental health of ourselves and others. We are taking a sharp look at those who have hurt others, from making racist comments to sexual harassment, and saying that it is not okay. We no longer welcome people like Woody Allen and Roman Polanski with open arms because we will not support people who harass and bully others.

This is not a sign of a weakening society. This goes to show that we are evolving by exposing the wrongs of the past. So please, don’t mock so-called ‘cancel culture.’ Acknowledge it as a sign that we are no longer going to tolerate the prejudice that seeps our culture.

Reese Bentzinger is a student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City earning a journalism major and a history minor. In her free time she enjoys reading history books, rewatching Gilmore Girls, and traveling. She plans on graduating in 2020. Insta: @reese_b_
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