Cancel culture is here and it’s powerful. It doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t look at intent nor does it care if you just got elected as a senior official in government but it will if you smoked crack back in high school or was accused of saying the n word to a colleague at your first job. It does not excuse your high profile celebrity status if you got caught driving drunk and you refuse to acknowledge your own responsibility in the backlash that ensues. You are judged by your worst moment or situation and according to cancel culture, BAD will trump GOOD anytime, regardless of your apparent remorse or how innocent, young and foolish you were.
How far is too far when a line has been crossed? Which previous or current transgression merits a “pass” or is reason enough to call in the lynch mob? Seems like we are lenient in some instances and radically unforgiving in others. Who makes that call? All the good you may have done as a humanitarian for the past 20 years is just a blip on the radar compared to the scandal that makes front page news because you said you are friends with someone who made a racist comment. So the cancel culture decides that your guilt by association is a justification for the strict sanctions YOU will be imposed.
Why is being ostracized from all professional or social circles or social media platforms, even the answer? Effectively that’s what cancel culture does: block, remove, eject, or expulse you from some imaginary “members only” club which is theoretically, the rest of us who are all-knowing and can do no wrong. Let’s be real. Some have come back with a vengeance with a best-selling book or tell-all and a resurgence in their career AFTER they got “cancelled”. So the blemish on the record doesn’t last forever. There is outrage today but tomorrow it may be forgotten because it will be replaced by a bigger story about someone who did something worse.
There is no balance with the cancel culture. There is no grey area. Yes there absolutely should be a punishment based on the rule of law if illegal activity is involved, but have we become as a society so enmeshed in judging others when we really should be concerned about what is happening in our own backyard? What makes us the all-knowing purveyors of good vs evil so that we can “kick out” those who fall short of the mark?
Give me back Pepe La Pew, not for his so-called identity as an aggressive sexual predator, but as a flirty skunk who enjoyed the “chase” almost as much as his own ‘aroma”. Cut him some slack. In no way did the message intended to become one of relentless pursuit of the opposite sex at all costs, or even promotion of rapist tendencies. This has gone too far. What’s next: Fred Flintstone getting cancelled because he promoted verbal abuse? Those of us who used to watch these cartoons came out unscathed and not in the least influenced by so-called inappropriate behaviours we saw onscreen. If anything, we sought comic relief from a make-believe world of interesting, quirky characters, without giving a second thought to anything else. Just pure and hilarious fun.
It doesn’t end there. Dr. Seuss, Mr. Potato Head, The Muppets: all victims of Cancel Culture b.s. in the form of not publishing certain books in the Dr. Seuss series, like If I Ran the Zoo, due to “hurtful portrayals”; addition of warnings such as “negative depictions” and “mistreatment of people and cultures” ahead of Disney + broadcasts of The Muppet episodes and re-branding of Mr. Potato Head – by dropping the Mr – even thought the products themselves will still continue to be sold as Mr and Mrs, in addition to a new inclusive playset which will be introduced.
Call it whatever you want: censoring, cancelling, ostracizing….the line does get blurred sometimes and the terms get used interchangeably, but it all seems like an arbitrary, subjective exercise depending on who gets offended and where the buck stops.
So here we are, waiting for the next “cancellation” to occur because that is what a woke crowd does. Pretty sad state we’re in, if you ask me.