It’s almost every other week nowadays where you hear about another celebrity, tik toker, or influencer being labeled as “canceled” over a comment or action either caught in recent times or just now disclosed from years ago. From singers and rappers like Doja Cat and Dababy, to influencers/Youtubers like Jeffree Star and Nikita Dragun, nobody is safe from being exposed and facing the harsh consequences of their words and decisions. I find it interesting how common it has become to find the dirty laundry of those who are famous and how fast the info spreads and is used to try to end that particular individual in the public eye for good. A few years ago famous people had it much easier and many bad/controversial things said and done were brushed under the rug. In current times, especially because of social media and the millions of users, celebrities are constantly put in check and walk on thin ice-yet, those like Dababy still mess up and face the wrath of the internet.
I completely agree with how one should be held accountable for what they say and do, but I also believe that cancel culture (at certain times well deserved regarding figures like Harvey Weinstein) has become out of hand and can affect people’s mental health extremely negatively. Living in a society in which people are constantly on a mission to witness a mistake and watch you fall through the cracks like entertainment can cause anxiety. People may also start to have trouble conversing with one another, not knowing whether something they say or like may be considered out of line and “wrong”, which can lead to social issues and loneliness. Furthermore, the act of “canceling” is also not very effective and false activism as it can be used as an excuse to leave horrible and hateful remarks towards an individual, as well as isolation for the target. Just because one person is in the wrong should not condone others to become just as horrible to that individual with their fake moral reasons.
The Office- an iconic series that has received a wide range of popularity- majorly incorporates crude humor and jokes amongst a spectrum including sexual and racist/discriminatory- especially via the boss of Dunder Mifflin, Micheal Scott. Yet, when released, and even years after including current times, it is still enjoyed by a huge audience and has accumulated a large fan base. Steve Carell who plays Micheal Scott even stated in an interview that he doesn’t believe that The Office and bringing it back/releasing it now would be accepted in today's society the way it was accepted years ago. There is undoubtedly a shift in the comedies released nowadays vs. just a few years which can be readily noticed. Other movies such as Bad Teacher or The Interview could very much be trending as wildly inappropriate and be “canceled” on the spot if produced in today's climate. It’s funny how the date of the release matters/can make the film problematic and unacceptable rather than (it seems) the actual content as these movies mentioned are still watched, appreciated, and laughed at today. It becomes difficult to really decipher if we as a society have become too sensitive for our own selfish reasons in order to attain a fake “good moral image” and seem like we are doing the right thing in the world, or if we actually really do care and believe the content is really offensive/problematic so want to protect the people/things it may be about. Given the behavior witnessed by the general public on social media however, unfortunately, I believe the former.