Cancel Cancel Culture


Josslyn Brandon, Staff Writer

Lately, I have been thinking about the definition of “canceled.” I know that it has given the chance for the voices of POC, LGBTQ+, and rape victims to be heard. But now it turned into people talking over the voices of minorities and canceling people who, to our knowledge, have done no wrong. They have changed their purpose from wishing equality to taking on the role of a “white knight” and speaking up only in the hopes of looking good. 

Cancel culture has turned into the ruining of celebrities and other well-known individuals with information holding no proof to back it up. It seems that every day I see some new claim of a celebrity being sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. The people who believe the false claims are adding to the damage by creating accusations letting more and more people start to believe them. Those who create those claims in the first place are taking attention and credibility away from victims and people with something to say.

The act of canceling or “calling out” something has been very effective in the past with problematic people such as Lea Michele, J.K. Rowling, and Shane Dawson. Michele was publicly canceled after multiple co-stars came out and shared stories of how she treated them, ranging from racism to belittling, as well as mocking and taunting. Rowling has proven many times to be transphobic in both her tweets and her words. Dawson has a history of being a child predator and has publicly made sexual jokes about young children, and has made it clear that her views won’t change. However, even still those people have supporters who defend them relentlessly. 

Then there are people like Johnny Depp who have been through the same thing, but because of false claims have been wrongfully impacted. Johnny Depp’s ex-wife, Amber Heard, has spread several claims about being abused by him throughout their relationship. This, of course, caused Depp to receive a lot of backlash from the media and even lost his role in Pirates of the Caribbean and Fantastic Beast. It has later come out that Depp was the victim of domestic violence and was being abused by Heard. 

Most people, in this generation especially, are very dedicated to fighting for equality and change. The problem however is that we don’t necessarily know-how, leading us to fight hate with hate which has created the toxicity of the cancel culture that we are familiar with today. A lot of cases of canceling bring up tweets or situations from a person’s past and use that against them years into the future. And as humans we are not the same people we were ten years ago, or five, maybe even one year ago. We would probably hate to be compared to our past selves, but when it comes to others we lack the ability to accept that they have changed as well. It is an entirely different story when the person refuses to apologize or denies the situation altogether or if they are a rapist, pedophile, abuser, etc. We need to accept that we aren’t the only people with the ability to change.