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Cancel Culture and the Impact on Celebs

Cancel Culture and the Impact on Celebs

Cancel culture refers to a culture in which those who do wrong or do others wrong are publicly reprimanded, often verbally, but also physically, psychologically, and in many other ways. Cancel culture sometimes forces people to think and behave in one similar way because they fear punishment for expressing views that go against the popular “correct” opinion. This has been especially true of celebrities, as their actions are often observed and analyzed closely by paparazzi, commentators, and everyday people all over social media.

One example of this is popular music artist and rapper Kanye West. Just a few years ago, West was generally seen as a bold, extreme, and talented artist. However, in 2022, West became the center of controversy because of his posting many disturbing comments on Twitter and Instagram. He was accused of antisemitism and racism immediately after these posts. He was then de-platformed from both Twitter and Instagram. Many believe Kanye West is antisemitic and extremely racist, but others have posted on Twitter that perhaps he is just delusional and mentally unwell (there have been reports of mental health disorders). The question becomes, if he is mentally unwell and suffering from a mental health disorder, does society cancel someone like Kanye forever? Is forgiveness possible? How do we hold public figures accountable for their mistakes (even horrific ones), but still hold space for them to evolve and learn from these mistakes?

Another example of cancel culture is the 2022 controversy of Will Smith slapping actor and comedian Chris Rock for jokingly insulting Will Smith’s wife. This caused Will Smith to be banned from the Grammy Awards for 10 years. Many outlets reported this incident as a fall from grace for Smith, as he had been seen as a good guy who plays superheroes and relatable every day men. He suffered humiliation all over social media as a result of this event, and even lost money in promotion deals. In the case of Will Smith, I personally believe that cancel culture went too far, as he did not deserve to get banned because of defending his wife over something that she found insulting. Violence is not the answer, but neither is a ten year ban for a moment of heated weakness.

In conclusion, cancel culture has been having an extreme effect on our society, specifically on celebrities. They receive more hate and punishments than regular people. As a society, we have to decide how much punishment is truly fair and how we can learn to move forward when mistakes are made.

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About the Contributor
Maurice Knight, Student Writer
I'm a freshman and a member of The Gull. This is my first year writing for The Gull. I enjoy football, music, and sleeping. I like writing about controversial topics that many people worry about talking about, like politics.

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