Why Cancel Culture is Ruining Our Society
We live in a day and age where people are constantly under the microscope of what they say and do, especially with “celebrities” who we hold up so high. Over the last ten years, technology and social media have evolved drastically. There is now access to endless platforms and sources of information but unfortunately, those platforms are now the breeding ground for keyboard warriors; people who can hide behind their computer screen and say whatever they want without suffering any repercussions of what they say or do.
How I see cancel culture is as; a group of people disagreeing with what someone has said or done and has gone through lengths to bring their actions to light so they can publicly shame them. Now, I agree we should hold people accountable for their actions but also give them a chance to learn from their mistakes so they can become better people because that is what we do as humans. We need to make mistakes to learn. I’m not saying you need to go out and do some bad shit to upset the establishment but generally speaking.
An area where cancel culture has become more apparent is the comedy industry. For obvious reasons, it’s easy to find comedy offensive because they’re essentially making fun of a certain topic. But here’s the thing with comedy, almost everyone is going to be offended by a joke told. You can just say you don’t agree with that or you don’t find that funny and just leave it at that. But wait! Let’s input cancel culture into the equation. A joke is told + “I don’t find that funny, I actually find that offensive” + Cancel Culture (“Hey did you hear what he said? That is so offensive”) = Domino effect of cancel culture.
You see this isn’t making our society better. This is someone’s insecurities being projected to get this person who told the joke cancelled and shamed even though their intention was to make you laugh. About a year ago, I wrote a short film about cancel culture. I heavily exaggerated cancel culture by writing that a comedian told a joke so offensive that comedy was banned worldwide and every comedian had to retire and if anyone told any joke no matter how harmless it is, people around you would cancel you on the spot. Sounds ridiculous right? Well, that’s how I feel about cancel culture, I feel it’s ridiculous and contagious. One person is offended, then another and another and so on.
The biggest target of cancel culture these days are “Celebrities”. You know actors, influencers, professional athletes, musicians etc. The people we look up to; whose lives we follow profusely; the ones we shape this perfect image of. They can do no wrong. What we forget is at the end of the day, they’re just people like you and me. They have their own issues, their own lives and their own shit they go through. Because they’re famous they constantly have a spotlight shining on them. Kind of like the Eye of Sauron from The Lord of the Rings. Their decisions are being judged by millions of people and with that judgment enters cancel culture. If you’re under the spotlight your actions, your views and your opinions cannot be accepted if the masses don’t agree with it and that’s a sad reality with people nowadays.
A most recent “Cancelation” is of well-known Houston rapper Travis Scott. During his Astroworld Music Festival in November last year, 10 people tragically lost their lives in what was described as a crowd crush with some suffering from heart attacks. As a result of the tragedy, Travis Scott was seen as the reason behind this and was given the blame by thousands of people on the internet as several media outlets reported on the incident too. Travis Scott had not made a public appearance ever since until most recently this month at an NFL game. I believe the blame is on Travis Scott to a certain extent but not solely because there are multiple factors that go into organizing a music festival. You have security, health and safety, organizers who work through logistics to offer the safest conditions for festival-goers; deciding how many people can attend etc. It is endless what goes into the planning process. But because Travis Scott is the main reason for people attending, he is the face they put to this tragedy therefore he is the reason for all this. I don’t believe that is true. I do believe he needs to take accountability for the behaviour he incites at his shows and people need to understand that too. His shows are full of energy and rage. That is what he encourages but I believe he deserves a second chance like everybody. A second chance to learn from what has happened.
I believe cancel culture itself needs to be cancelled because it is encouraged by people who don’t want to see progression or people changing for the better but to see this society fall and be moulded into a world of critics.
By Keenan Rogers