If you are not aware, cancel culture refers to the public shaming, mostly on social media, of someone for saying or doing something deemed offensive. It can end careers, or at least cause major derailment, quickly- people love piling on.
This phenomenon started, as so many bad things do, as a good thing. Public figures are, well, public, and if they are spouting racist, homophobic, or otherwise hateful things, they should be called out.
However, it’s also true that everyone makes mistakes. None of us can say that, in a moment of anger or another strong emotion, said something really hurtful. Maybe even hateful. Hopefully, once cooler heads prevailed, you were able to go to that person, offer a sincere apology, and make amends. And here is where cancel culture goes off the rails. Once you have been deemed a bad person by the culture police you are bad for life. Apologies are seen as only being made because you got called out. There is no room for redemption, no room for having a learning experience and growing from it.
And to make matter worse, it’s not just what you do today that can get you in hot water. Actors are being called out for supposed sins they committed years or even decades ago. For voicing an animated character of a different race. For playing a gay character when they are straight (I could write an entire post about why that is SO WRONG, but I digress). For getting married at a place with the word “Plantation” in its name (yes really). For being involved in a movie that was made 35 years ago that doesn’t reflect the standards of 2020- typically in terms of its treatment of women and/ or minorities- but that was perfectly fine by the standards of when it was actually made.
Now, i’m not saying that it’s a bad thing standards have changed. They absolutely should as we evolve as a people. But getting mad because someone didn’t have a time machine 30 years ago? That’s just stupid.
So, I’m calling for a cancellation of cancel culture. Of knee jerk reactions to minor offences that are blown into much bigger deals that they should be. Of being mad that people made a movie you didn’t like 10 years before you were born. Of thinking you are so superior that you can and should decide who is good and who is bad. Just get over yourselves already,