Cancel Culture harms humanity’s ability to grow

Cancel culture does more than good, it has been hurting humanity’s ability to grow since 2020.  

Cancel culture, a “punishment” online that people use nowadays to call out celebrities or big influencers on their bad behavior, usually involves racism, homophobia, sexism, or transphobia. Cancel culture has grown to the point where even politicians as politically opposed as Donald Trump and Barack Obama have criticized it,  Trump calling it “the definition of totalitarianism.”   

Cancel culture has been around since the early 2010s, when people would talk about the problematic behaviors of celebrities and influences on a blog called “Your fave is problematic” on Tumblr. Celebrities like Lady Gaga got exposed, in Gaga’s case, for dressing in blackface at a celebration in Berlin in 2011. 

Eventually, cancel culture grew bigger in 2017-2020, growing significantly in 2020 after George Floyd’s death, according to Dr. Julia Moore, an Associate Professor of African American Religion and Religions of the African Diaspora at University of North Carolina Charlotte. 

People, including teenagers, united online and used social media platforms such as TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram to cancel those who said negative things about the BLM protests. Some celebrities like A$AP Rocky got accused of not caring about the police violence against African-Americans, and others got called out on racist things they’ve done in the past. 

What happened in 2020 with cancel culture was unexplainable. Many people got canceled for things they did in the past. At some point in the past, the majority of the people online were uneducated or ignorant, including those who have canceled others. 

The people being involved in cancel culture in 2020 should have used their time doing proper research instead of canceling people not knowing that they’ve changed. 

Jenna Marbles, a YouTuber also known as a big influencer online, was canceled in 2020 after her old racist and sexist skits online resurfaced. Marbles decided to make an apology video for the racist and sexist skits she had uploaded back in 2011, then ultimately decided that the best decision was to hold herself accountable and quit Youtube. Many of her fans were devastated about Marbles quitting Youtube and disappearing from social media. 

Marbles is a tragic example of being held accountable for her actions in the past that she has since apologized for. I agree that what she did in the past might’ve been offensive to people, but it seemed obvious that Marbles had already changed. I’d get it if people canceled Marbles for things she had recently done, but canceling someone for their past seems hypocritical.    

Mainly when there was a time where racism and sexism were considered “normal,” stereotyping and making comments about certain groups of people was considered “normal,” especially around 2014-2016 where teenagers would use a social media platform called Vine, a social media platform that shut down in April 2019.  

Over the years the world has become more sensitive to things like this, especially today where I could get canceled for a racist video I made five years ago. People online wouldn’t give me the chance to apologize and tell them that I’ve changed and grown throughout the years.

On the other hand, it can be a great way of punishing people online for recent things they’ve done. I think people who still behave the same way they did in the past should be held accountable, or for behaving a certain way that offends people. The people involved in cancel culture should cancel those who haven’t changed and still continue to do unacceptable things towards a certain group of people, whether it’s because of someone’s race, sexual orientation, gender, or religion.     

Not everyone should be canceled for making an insensitive comment today. Some people should be able to apologize to those they’ve offended. It all depends on age and if they genuinely mean what they’ve said. People, mainly young adults, make mistakes and they should be able to apologize and grow from their mistakes. 

At the end of the day, cancel culture is all or nothing, and that is toxic, It’ll always be a complex topic to talk about. Cancel culture will have pros and cons, and one of the cons is that people will most likely get canceled for things they’ve done in the past even after apologizing, while one of the pros is that people who deserve to be canceled will get canceled. 

After all, people should understand that people change with time, and their actions are different from how they used to be 10 to 20 years ago. People should give others the opportunity to speak or another chance instead of punishing them for a position they have long since grown out of.