• Sam Abbott

Opinion: Cancel Culture Has Gone Way Too Far

Around 2017, the term “cancel culture” began to be popularized on social media and in the minds of the public. What began as a trend to condemn celebrities for corruption has become a full out war on the history, morality, and ideals of our society.


Any day of the week, one can open up their phone, open up Twitter and see who or what is being cancelled.


While tolerance is being preached from both right and left wing parties, neither side is truly upholding their end of the deal (although far more right-leaning celebrities have been cancelled than left-wing).


From the beginning this trend has been wildly corrupt, basically beginning with the agenda that if “I don’t like what you say, then you don’t get to say anything at all”. It’s all rather ridiculous and immature.


Cancel culture has gone as far as preventing celebrities from getting jobs, whether by petitions or simply by forming a Twitter mob. Media companies have been forced by the ‘will of the people’ to fire actors or musicians because of something they did or said --sometimes years previously.


While there are certainly people out there who have said some corrupt things, and may even deserve their cancellation, this trend has become a nasty way of shutting down any voice that our culture doesn’t want to hear.


Too many good people have fallen prey to the Twitter mob, just because they stood up for their beliefs.


For instance, during the BLM protests actor Terry Crews was outspoken about his stance on equality, and against supremacy.


Hoping to bring unity and speak out against the violence and distrust he saw, Crews made statements about the need for equality between black and white people that were met with insults to his intelligence, integrity, and ethics.


Another instance of cancellation was when actor Chris Pratt did not attend an event with fellow Avengers cast to raise money for the Joe Biden Campaign. Fans noticed his absence and began to criticize his faith, and called him homophobic for his absence.


These are just two instances where celebrities who truly did nothing wrong were insulted in disgusting ways, and trust me there are tons of other examples.


Not only have many celebrities been cancelled, but entire companies have been forced to rebrand due to the pressure of our twisted society.


At the height of the BLM protests this summer, Quakers Oats announced the need to retire the Aunt Jemima brand due to the “racial stereotypes” it upheld.


While the brand did begin with a stereotype that is offensive (originally based on a slave woman), since 1989 it has certainly evolved into a much more positive logo.


What once was a depiction of a slave woman became the face of a sweet black lady that had no negative implications on children, and certainly did not create racist behaviour.


But thanks to a viral Tik Tok video, Quakers Oats felt as if it should respond to the cancel culture and rebrand into something less “offensive”.


Additionally, Uncle Ben's rice was cancelled shortly after Aunt Jemima for similar reasons, although the likeness of the logo was based on a “beloved Chicago chef and waiter named Frank Brown” according to Mars.


Similar to these food companies, the Edmonton Eskimos (now the Edmonton Football Club) announced that they will be moving away from their “racist” origins.


They are one of many clubs and teams across North America that have moved away from anything involving the First Nations community due to the ‘colonial and racist’ implications.


Frankly, my feeling is that cancel culture is achieving the opposite of it’s presumed goal. Instead of eradicating racism and supremacy, it’s merely shutting down free speech, causing people to overreact, and bullying anyone who stands in the way of the media’s agenda.


It’s been sickening to watch North America’s historical leaders; Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington, and MacDonald to name a few, all be bashed by the media and by our culture.


Sure these men had their flaws; they were living in times where slavery was prevalent, and where certain rights had not yet been pushed for, but thanks to them Canada and America are the free countries we live in today.


You have to wonder what the historical figures of our past would think if they were to see the day and age we are living in. Our society has become a polarizing war of ideologies that has resulted in massive distrust and intolerance.


One step in the right direction is taking a stand against cancel culture, and advocating for our beliefs in a respectful, yet also firm way.


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