By Amber Hunsicker
Within the last year, many events have transformed our world including the BLM movement, the Trump versus Biden presidential debate (followed by the events of Jan. 6), COVID-19 and the major separation between all people. With little to no human connection, forced isolation and more time spent online while in the middle of these major events, many gained the confidence and freedom to start utilizing the internet to share their opinions, and unfortunately, this took the turn towards a bigger “cancel culture.”
Vox.com describes “Cancel Culture” as a routine where a famous individual does something that is seen as offensive that leads them to face public backlash, often through social media, before the individual is called to be “cancelled,” which means their career is ended by boycotts and other limiting means.
Cancel Culture is a movement with a main goal to censor anyone or anything, typically due to someone’s feelings getting hurt. In recent events, Cancel Culture has gotten involved with politics, but I think both sides use it when they don’t agree with someone else.
Unfortunately, it seems that individuals are attempting to censor everything, and I think everyone needs to take a step back, talk and think. When do we say this is enough? I think it is time to end “Cancel Culture” and its movement for censorship, as we do live in America, the home of the free.
The idea that “Cancel Culture” tries to completely remove someone or something, influencing others to no longer support that person or thing, is a clear indication that “Cancel Culture” has involvement is modern day censorship.
Some examples of recent Cancel Culture are as follows:
- St. Ives: According to glossy.co, St. Ives, a face and body product company, is now the highlight of all beauty jokes on YouTube and TikTok as others have made negative claims ruining the reputation of this business.
- Dr. Seuss: An announcement was made under the news and event section of Dr. Seuss’s website, seussville.com, on his birthday stated that “he” would be recalling six of his books. Although the statement was made by Seuss’s team and family, “he” claims he has other influences in this decision such as “a panel of experts, including educators,” and I am sure there were many other influences involved with his decision. Other media platforms like Fox News and the Morning Call have also highlighted the news of the cancellation for several of Dr. Seuss’s books.
- Disney +: Hitc.com states that, giving in to the pressures of society and “Cancel Culture,” they have decided to eliminate several movies from their children profiles. These include, but may not be limited to, “Dumbo,” “Peter Pan,” “Swiss Family Robinson” and “The Aristocats,” which are all classics that many grew up with and are now being highly restricted.
- Buzzfeed.com mentions several celebrities: Katherine Heigl (who refused to accept an Emmys award because she felt she didn’t work nearly as hard as others and wanted the award to go to an award winning performer–although she was grateful for her nomination), Taylor Swift (because of the Kim and Kanye phone call scandal), Rebecca Black (known for her hit “Friday,” which led to intense social media abuse), Kathy Griffin (because she didn’t like Trump), Colin Kaepernick (blacklisted after taking a knee), Britney Spears (as many mock her career– although she may have a comeback with the #FREEBRITNEY movement), Tiger Woods (dropped from golf sponsors due to cheating on his ex), and so many more have faced nearly career-ending pressures from the general public, and this list continues to grow.
“Cancel Culture” continues to force out some of our all time favorite books, movies, celebrities, artists, speakers, etc. and continues to take away the very privilege many of us beg for when entering the United States: our freedom. It borders on censorship, which leads to a country that is controlled, and Americans love our country for being able to be different, have different views, beliefs, thoughts and interests.Censorship takes that all away from us.
Recently, Cancel Culture has tried to cancel the well-known rapper Eminem. This isn’t surprising to Eminem since presidents have tried to cancel him and have failed.
According to The Rolling Stone, Eminem decided to release his new song “Tone Deaf” as a “clap-back” to “Cancel Culture” when they tried to cancel him again. He tweeted the lyrics, “I won’t stop even when my hair turns grey (I’m tone-deaf) / ‘Cause they won’t stop until they cancel me.”
Many support Eminem’s refusal to allow “Cancel Culture” to terminate his life, talents, skills, career or future. Slipknot’s Corey Taylor is one example of someone who is standing with Eminem.
Taylor states, “The level of censorship that we are starting to see, and I am not saying that certain things have not been said that easily offend people. However, the flip side of that is that you cannot even make a joke anymore, even in the cleanest of situations. Where people completely turn on you. And there is not a hint of satire, there is no hint of irony. It is just all outrage, and it is all through [smartphones]…If we cannot have a conversation, how the hell are we going to communicate. If we cannot understand the difference between metaphor and complete reality, then we are in real trouble.”
“Cancel Culture” is made of individuals everywhere who push their beliefs onto others, slowly eliminating everything and everyone that makes them uncomfortable.
I personally do not want “Cancel Culture” to take over, forcing the things I once loved to be gone for good. If you do not like something, then ignore it. I do not believe that these “cancelled” people or things have any interference in others’ lives, and if you want to cancel them from yours, you can always do so, but you do not have to take it away from the rest of us because your feelings are hurt.