What I think of Cancel Culture
I hear a lot about cancel culture online, no matter if it is of liberal or conservative. In many ways, cancel culture is considered someone not going by a person who you don’t agree with in a particular way and that you want to either avoid them and/or boycott them. Some details though of the why of being cancelled though do need to be looked at. Is it just basic opinion or is it more? A racist point of view would seem to be one thing, rather than a view of who do you like best, Marvel or DC? Batman or Wolverine? When it comes to the subject matter, the question then would be, that it would depend on if it is constructive, informative, or destructive.
This difference does matter when it is destructive such as abuse or racism, should you be saying something, or should you just leave it? This is the accountability factor that is definitely needed more often. It is also a trust factor. This also allows us to be critical of others rather than just stating that it is just a belief. That belief could be something that is problematic such as racist remarks to others right in front of you. Interestingly enough, free speech does mean that others do have the opportunity to tell you off and oppose them with your own opinion and beliefs. This in turn can help create change from time to time. When they are destructive, people aren’t the only ones that take notice, but also companies. Some that have been racist or abusive have been fired or not being able to do the work they intend to do. This would be a consequence of what has been said and/or done. This would happen to me too if I would state something racist or had been abusive to someone especially at work. I’d be fired too. With cancel culture, this is all online for all to see and people take notice and will respond.
Unfortunately, the responses to what has been said, can be taken in a much more brutal manner that can be considered toxic and abusive on its own. It is also ego gratifying in the sense that you can tell them off but that doesn’t mean they can’t do the same to you. Online comments have been doing this for quite some time, even before Facebook and Twitter. There have been online chat groups since the early to mid-90s and for many, not much has changed in that manner. Online bullying was there during that time and have experienced it many times in the 90s.
When it comes to just disagreeing about basic things like TV shows or movies or something that is petty and minute in the long run, then it should be something you can easily disagree on and move on. Discussions are easier to come by and the willingness to learn is more there when it is about something that you are interested in but have different tastes and perspectives on entertainment and the like. Anything though about racism, trans-phobic, homophobic, or about some kind of abuse of any sort to even corruption of a sort, might be something that causes concern. It also causes a lack of trust in that person. There isn’t much discussion, and most will not have the willingness to learn from a different belief and opinion in that way about such destructive opinions and supposed behaviors . It would be the difference between Bill Cosby (lack of trust for being suspected sexual assault) or the Dixie Chicks that stated that President Bush wasn’t their President because they didn’t care for him for whatever reason. The fact that they were based in Texas, a very conservative state, made them be attacked by conservatives and were shunned, aka cancelled.
Sure, everyone can have an opinion but at the same time, our opinions can have consequences at times especially if it is destructive. How about the opinion of the Dixie Chicks? Conservatives were all over them about the Dixie Chicks stating how Bush wasn’t their President. Did that do anything besides be just a liberalistic point of view that the conservatives didn’t like or was there more to it? It isn’t like music artists don’t go political or anything in any of there songs right? Should that be considered destructive? Hard to tell when many liberals were not seeing Trump as a President, or as a real President. Did anything happen to me when I stated my opinion of that? Nope. I’m not important, my opinion didn’t matter. I had no influence. Sure, maybe there was someone who unfriended me on Facebook but otherwise, it was business as usual with my own opinions. This means that only people with some level of influence or popularity seem to get hit with many people complaining of something you said or wrote online.
In my view, unfriending someone due to a disagreement could be considered cancelling my Facebook friendship with that someone for whatever reason. Yes, I’ve done this myself and mostly due to the prior election. I have my reasons and I won’t state it at this time, but it isn’t like my unfriending someone is going to do anything to them. No consequences of their opinions that could be downright problematic but at least that particular problem then went away for me when that person went away. Now this isn’t like a discussion of policies as in “lowering taxes and less government” kind of things, it was more about being against any liberal or leftist and put out a hate for whoever candidate that I like best, etc. Usually there is no real discussion but just rants and that might be part of the issue.
Right now, it seems like mostly the cancel culture is against conservatives, mostly due to racist or homophobic rants, etc. Yet, there is another counter to it that is also part of the cancel culture and that is the conservatives going after those that bring out the messages of accepting race, homosexuals, transsexuals, nonbinary individuals, etc. When I read what goes on in social media about DC’s Arrowverse shows like Supergirl and Batwoman, it seems very prominent of the attack on the idea of SJWs or Social Justice Warriors. First, they use these shows due to the part of having many minority characters being characters that are more known for being white. In Supergirl, Jimmy Olsen is a black man rather than a white freckled face kid. Second, the stories in Supergirl were many times about racial justice not to mention the justice for aliens in one season. Aliens in this case was someone from another planet which Supergirl, Brainiac, and the Martian Manhunter were considered. Some of the story and or quotes did mention some political slant. The only issue to me was that it might not age well after 10 years or so when someone watches it. Otherwise, certain political views isn’t new even in comics or cartoons. In my view, it took some time to get used to a black Jimmy Olsen, but eventually I really liked the character. I thought of the idea that this is besides the comics and other media like cartoons and possibly movies. I did also like the messages of social justice and wasn’t really thinking it was “political” even though many online sure thought so. For the justice for aliens’ season, it just made me think of the constant storyline of the X-Men and being hated for being a mutant. That idea was nothing new to me.
It does make me wonder and I was reminded after a conversation with a good friend, that maybe these things are going too fast for some conservatives to keep up with all the changes and things. Yet, I will state that it isn’t just of that because many things have been done before, even if limited. Star Trek is one that has done this. Even the cartoon “Superfriends” decided to add characters that were of minorities like Black Vulcan (Black Lightning?), Samurai, Apache Chief, and eventually El Dorado. The thing is, it has been around for years and even in comics, certain social justice and few little political jabs were done there too. Is it then really about that or is it that all of a sudden, more and more people are paying attention? With social media and with many different types of propaganda, many are influenced to think in certain ways. Many conservatives are still taught the older ways as if it is still 1950s socially, politically and in the sense of race. Why do you think so many have such strong issues when it comes to race and homosexuality? People are easily able to be conditioned to believe things just as much as anyone can be. Now, this doesn’t mean that we can’t get away from such things and start thinking more for ourselves and realize that some of our morals and ethics about other people are being changed by the propaganda that were first chose. We can choose a different one if we realize they are actual poison to ourselves, to others and to our own sense of morality and ethics that many conservatives state they have. All I can say, is choose your propaganda wisely.
So, this isn’t just a liberal/leftist deal that is going after conservatives and trying to cancel them. This is something many are doing right now. If you have signed a petition against someone, you are part of that culture. Now this doesn’t mean it is a bad thing, it is a bad thing for those who encounter it on themselves and aren’t being accountable for what is said, especially if it is destructive. The thing is, if you lost your job due to something you write online or share online, is it really cancel culture or is that the company seeing a potential problem since you represent the company image by representing yourself in a different manner than what the company wants to show. This would be like with practically any company that doesn’t allow such racial and phobic abuse of other people, companies then do have the right to do something about it.
We can take who is most popular in the news right now about cancel culture, Gina Carano. She was recently fired from Disney due to something she shared on Twitter. What she shared was about her feelings of being a conservative is like being in the holocaust and being persecuted. Of course, this was not actual persecution due to the fact no one was actually threatening her life and put into some kind of camp for being just a conservative. Yet, there have been those who have been toxic to her online and pushing her to do things and accept things. I will say this though, I don’t know if people change drastically online from a stranger. Maybe a friend or relative, but not a stranger.
As you can see from the image, it had the idea of the holocaust in it and it was stating that this holocaust is equal to how she is being treated for being conservative. Mainly, this takes away what the Jews went through in the Holocaust. This is considered a victim state and it isn’t even accurate in that way of being persecuted. This was considered a good reason to fire her on the Mandalorian due to her representation of the company, but supposedly there was more than that as there were other problems. She supposedly was not going by the pandemic precautions that practically all shows and movies are doing such as not wearing a mask or keeping distance. This includes other basic controversies which doesn’t help with the toxicity of the people replying to her and her reactions and replies to them.
Now her feelings shouldn’t be totally avoided due to this. There have been certain liberals that have been a bit pushy on certain things and one that I saw probably almost a year ago, was about how certain liberals wanted her to put her pronouns with her Twitter name. It was considered a new thing possibly due to the LGBT community and for those that consider themselves nonbinary. Yet, the forcefulness of these certain liberals to do so, was problematic in my view. At the time, I wasn’t sure exactly what it was about until finding more out about nonbinary individuals. Gina responded by putting in her name on Twitter with “Boop/bop/beep” more less signifying R2D2. Certain liberals were all over it thinking that she was making fun of the LGBT community. Supposedly, Pedro Pascal was trying to help her understand what the new pronouns were about and she really did not know exactly why until then. Maybe she felt that she was being forced too much and felt like being a robot doing what people tell her to do. It is hard to tell about that part but the fact that certain liberals were angry and thinking she is transphobic isn’t exactly a good thing either. It makes that only questionable as a possibility but is not confirmed. Yet, according to those responding to her by being toxic, has pretty much labeled her as such. She also used anti-mask meme on her Twitter which wasn’t helpful and since she was not for masks or about being cautious in the pandemic, this could have been a problem also for Disney and since Gina is a part of Disney, she can be considered a representative. Thus, she was fired for not being a good representative to the company.
Then there is the conservative side of her about not accepting that Trump lost and because of that felt that the election was rigged. This was based on conservative propaganda and really wasn’t showing the facts of how it was rigged. This felt more about Trump’s loss to me than about actual changes need based on my progressive views.
This did bring in another controversy and people were all over it. Although she bought a lot to herself and should be accountable, she also has faced more toxic people who put in a lot of hate. This is the bad side of cancel culture because online, you can bully others no matter if you are somewhat in the right or not. With all the controversy, she was more than destined to be fired from Disney. The surprise was also being fired from her agent. Although she now is in talks with Ben Shapiro about doing some project about cancel culture and totalitarianism, I think that it will only have half the facts and half of the perspective based on a conservative viewpoint and not other viewpoints.
So, even though cancel culture helps with accountability, it does have its pros and cons. If people were able to truly talk and discuss more, maybe some of the cons will go away. What some of the things that have been done by various celebrities and others can be toxic and going against them in a toxic way isn’t helpful or good. One of the things with online is great in one way, but problematic in another. Sometimes it is best just to observe and not bring anything up. You can decide for yourself to “cancel” someone out of your life or interest without having to say or write anything to them. If there was more of a lack of interest, their popularity will go downhill regardless. Would they know they did wrong? No, but then again, even if you are stating something or even being toxic doesn’t change them either. I’d rather let them go than going down the road of being toxic if I can help it.
Opinions are great but they only have meaning for the self and that is why we tend to think highly of our opinions even though it is just a matter of perspective. We also don’t realize that we can be great influencers and that the more popular individuals can influence others. We need to think about how we are influencing people and also how others are influencing us. Just because they are popular or have some type of authority, doesn’t mean they are good influences. We can think for ourselves, but we need to be able to do so rather than always go by what others are saying.