By Allie Bloom
From Dr. Suess to Full House’s Danny Tanner, it seems as though we really can’t enjoy anything anymore. Odds are, in the past few years you’ve had some form of media that you truly loved, ruined after news breaking of the lead singer of your favorite band being charged with sexual assault, or the star of your comfort childhood movie being a Neo-nazi.
So where do we draw the line? What is a cancelable offense vs. a mistake? Is redemption possible? How do we know if an apology is genuine? These are all questions that have crossed my mind as I navigate through this crazy mixed up world.
Cancel culture is hugely popular amongst internet celebrities. Some of the biggest scandals in recent years involve racist YouTube stars like Jeffree Star, pedophile beauty gurus like James Charles, and racist pedophiles like Shane Dawson. While their careers were destroyed (for now), creators such as Tea Spill and Rich Lux, who’s sole job is to expose celebrities wrong doings, thrive.
Uncancelling yourself doesn’t seem that difficult to do, if you have the money for a good PR team of course. Popular YouTube star Logan Paul taught influencers everywhere, that you can talk your way out of anything. Known for outrageous stunts, Paul’s greatest claim to fame is his 2017 Suicide Forest vlog. Fans and critics alike were appalled when the YouTuber featured an actual dead body, hanging from a tree in his video. A person who died in the most tragic of ways, was used for what Paul considered comedy. It seemed impossible to come back from this. But after an apology video and a $250,000 donation to The National Suicide Prevention Hotline, the now boxer appeared on Fox’s hit show “The Masked Singer,” just this month.
So why does Logan Paul just get to bounce back? More mainstream than ever? How come when Tik Tok’s Lil Huddy was caught using the N slur, he still books gigs in music videos with major stars like Machine Gun Kelly? But when an old video of some girl in my sister’s new college groupchat lip synching a song with the N slur in it, she was chastised into transferring to a new school. When Kathy Griffin posed for a photo with Donald Trump’s decapitated head, she was outcast from society. But when Donald Trump himself has been accused of sexual misconduct and assaulting countless women, he still got to be the president.
I’m not defending any of these people’s actions. The movement is inconsistent and doesn’t allow people to learn or grow. A Jubilee video on YouTube described the situation quite well when discussing whether or not to cancel someone for an error in judgement. The participant said “It’s like having a cut on your arm and saying let’s just cut the whole thing off.” It’s far easier to just discard of someone than to help them mature.