Woke generation invokes cancel culture

Who is next on the chopping block?

Being canceled is becoming just as contagious as the coronavirus.  “Cancel Culture,” as Gen-Z calls it, is the “canceling” or the public shaming of celebrities or public officials who have done said something or acted in an offensive manner, past or present, and spreading the word via social media that fans should stop supporting those “offensive” individuals. 

A hot topic seen over the summer that still continues is the Black Lives Matter protests, where people worldwide are seen fighting for the right to equality and abolishment of racism within countries. Around the globe, posters, merchandise, and even social media posts are seen everywhere to show support or disapproval for this movement. 

Celebrities have even joined in on the protests by using their voice and platform to showcase what they believe in in order to get those who follow them to also become informed and support the cause. However, some celebrities have been caught lying about their support, and followers have been quick to report it.

Many celebrities have been called out for doing actions against the black community, like using blackface, saying the “N” word, and also blatantly being racist and ignorant towards black people and other minorities in the past. Some celebrities, like the Kardashians, have even been caught “blackfishing”, a new term used to show lighter-skinned people who have overly-used self-tanning in order to seem so dark that they are practically black, if not extremely close to it. While these actions may have been done in the past, followers of these celebrities have been quick to bring it up to show that they should not be praised for supporting the BLM movement since they themselves have been racist in the past, therefore “canceling” these celebrities.

This “canceling” leads to these celebrities losing thousands, if not millions, of followers overnight and facing many more consequences. While losing followers may seem like a small feat, this can lead to these influencers losing sponsors, workers, and overall: money in general. These losses are detrimental to the earning of income for these individuals and essentially means that they lost a job. Of course, it is not as detrimental as losing a job because devout followers can still support them, but is still harmful to their income because they have lost so much within a matter of hours.

Canceling people has been such a large part of the celebrity community that it is now called “Cancel Culture”, where people go so far as literally searching and digging up evidence from people’s past to ensure that they are canceled. It is almost like every celebrity is canceled for one thing or another, and social media users are petitioning to put an end to cancel culture.

However, cancel culture has not come out of the blue as a result of the BLM movement, for people have been canceling others for years. For instance, Jeffree Star (a YouTube makeup artist with a million-dollar makeup industry) had been canceled for using the N-word, being racist, and using slurs against all types of people. Yet, he had been canceled years before because he had started some drama amongst the Makeup YouTube community, almost ruining other makeup artists’ careers by spreading false rumors and misleading information. 

Another YouTuber that was canceled, more popularly known, is Shane Dawson. The largest reason for this cancellation is because he made many videos in Blackface with many different characters, called a black character a “monkey” amongst other slurs, and gave all these characters horrific names that ended in “qua”. Still, Dawson is most notably and popularly hated due to a video that showed him suggesting sexual motions to a poster of Willow Smith at a very young age. Willow, Jaden, and the rest of the Smith family all addressed this video with disgust, where Shane made an apology video in response.

“With YouTubers like Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star, I believed they never learned from their ‘mistakes’ so I will no longer watch and support them because their drama went so deep,”  stated Isabel Rauch, 12th grade and avid YouTube watcher. “However, if Jenna Marbles continued to make videos, I would watch her because she took accountability. I used to watch both Shane and Jeffree but now I no longer do.”

Jenna Marbles, a comedy YouTuber, was canceled for some past blackface and made a video apologizing much like every other YouTuber who has been canceled. However, her video was much more realistic in the sense that she did not victimize herself nor cried, therefore gaining the support of followers and non-followers alike because of her genuineness. 

Apology videos have become such normality that it has become a meme and a Halloween costume, to make fun of the celebrities. Many have seen a pattern of the celebrity crying with a messy background, victimizing themself and seeming ingenuine. This is how people pick and choose who to accept and who to hate when seeing their apologies. 

So the question truly is: Is cancel culture a good or a bad thing? Well, it depends. It is good that people are taking celebrities off of a pedestal because of past actions that can and have offended many people. Then again, if it was from the past, people can change their views and cannot be judged by their past alone if they have shown that they have changed for the better, especially if they need the money that they get from creating content.