I’m going to be clear about my standpoint here. If cancel culture should be a thing then every one of us is cancelled! Here’s why we think ‘cancel culture’ should be crossed out once and for all.
#Cancelledt or cancel culture is most commonly defined as the call to stop supporting people (most commonly celebrities) in any form. It is a social, digital, moral and financial boycott which arises from the celebrity doing something that’s considered unpopular or questionable.
This mindset is centered on the idea of the “attention economy” where people think that depriving someone of attention equals to depriving them of a livelihood. Cancel culture can mean just depriving someone of digital and social support but it can also come down to cancelled events, shows or activities.
Desire for control
Lisa Nakamura from the University of Michigan described ‘cancel culture’ as the desire for control. Frankly, we don’t have that much control over what we can see in social media. Because it’s a very powerful tool if you just have the right size of a following and a good network, you can relay every message you want to in just a click. As a result, it has been a medium for marketing, communication, and spreading awareness. However, the platform has also been used to spread fear, fake news, and other negative things. Let’s just agree that social media has its good and bad sides. Every day we are made to see ads and contents that we do not have control over, which is apparently why ‘cancel culture’ is everywhere. It somehow gives us the power to strip someone of their careers and lifestyle.
Needless to say, ‘cancel culture’ takes celebrity worship to another level. When we idolize people, we tend to set them on a pedestal as our role models, which, let’s be frank, is very evident in the Philippine entertainment industry.
“JK Labajo is cancelled because he cussed at the audience and thinks he’s so cool.” Let’s take a bet that some of us here cusses waaaay better than JK on a daily basis.
“Joey De Leon is cancelled because he said depression isn’t real.”
“Michelle Dy is cancelled because she copied content from another YouTuber, or became affiliated with someone who already has a girlfriend.” Right, like no one of us ever did that?
These are just some examples, there are plenty more. But you guys, celebrities as they are, they are humans, too. And they are fallible. Cancel culture is like dehumanizing them or robbing them of the possibility of being wrong and making mistakes or they will be “cancelled”. It does not allow growth and learning from experiences.
Shift of focus
Cancel culture shifts our focus to finding validation from others. Instead of focusing on relevant things and bigger dilemmas that need solutions, people are focused on finding something to be pissed off about popular personalities. These personalities, then, become focused on trying to avoid making mistakes in fear of being cancelled.
No tangible effect
We can always say that we cancelled someone, but is anyone ever cancelled? You can tell people not to support an artist, per se, but still stream their songs or watch their movies in an attempt to find a flaw that can be a fuel you can add to the flame you already created. And it still benefits them! Several celebrities have been cancelled for countless times but here we are, glued to their every move, waiting for them to make a mistake. Checkmate! But doesn’t this defy the deprivation of attention that is cancel culture itself? Not only that, but some people who used to be neutral about these things tend to feel the need to participate in the boycott because it’s what’s “in”.
Also, isolating someone through cancel culture does not undo the harm they’ve done. It will still be there, and we’d just be here hating on it like that would change anything.
Overall, it’s BS
This is just it guys, cancel culture, as we know it, it complete BS. One, it is a form of public bullying, and more and more people are adding up to it. It isn’t enough to let the person know that what he did was wrong, right? Let’s have other people hate him too so no one would go to his shows or activities! Is this the kind of mindset we want to have?
The fatal flaw of cancel culture is the arrogance and hypocrisy in it. Sometimes, your way isn’t the only way that’s right. Let’s not say that no one else can make mistakes. We’re quick to see the wrong in others but we don’t see it in ourselves. Anyway, some of these people are being crucified for what? Tweets or posts from years ago? I mean, I’m pretty sure we all posted something in the past that we truly regret, but that doesn’t mean we still believe in the same things in the present, right?
We all made mistakes in the past, some of us talked trash about other people. Some of us betrayed friends, some of us cheated on relationships. We are never better than what we despise, so get off your high horses, my dear friends. Right now, the very act of saying that something is cancelled SHOULD be cancelled. Cancel culture is a very unhealthy mindset that just triggers a hate cycle. There is enough hate in this world without us having to add up to it.