The unfairness of cancel culture


Paris Fietsam

Senior Joey Borbeck listening to Morgan Wallen on one of the few platforms where he is still available, Spotify

Paris Fietsam, Social Media Manager

Cancel culture has impacted many in pop culture within the past few years. As it becomes increasingly more popular, it threatens the careers of celebrities and influencers.  

Many people have been greatly affected by cancel culture, having essentially lost their whole platform. However, some people are impacted more than others. While cancel culture can ruin lives, it picks the lives of who to ruin and impacts each person differently.

Country music artist Morgan Wallen has recently been cancelled after a video surfaced of him drunkenly calling his friend a racial slur. Since the video went viral, his songs have been blacklisted from the radio, and he has been indefinitely suspended from his record label.

Although Wallen faced severe consequences, other canceled celebrities faced significantly less backlash.   

In 2019, R. Kelly was arrested for sex crimes, human trafficking, child pornography, racketeering and obstruction of justice, — facing a total of 22 federal counts, including child pornography, kidnapping and forced labor. However, his songs are still played all over the radio, and he faced no punishment towards his music or work.

This is not rare to see. In 2009, Chris Brown was arrested for felony assault, after beating his girlfriend Rihanna. However, he has gone on for years continuing to make music and millions of dollars for his work. 

Junior Jayne Abrahram believes this difference in consequences is unacceptable. “There is a certain drive among the public to cancel public figures and celebrities for various offenses,” she explained. “Whether or not you consider those offenses valid reasons to be ‘canceled,’ people must be held accountable for their actions. However, it is important to hold people to the same standard and not allow your favorite artist a pass.” 

This has led many people to wonder why some artists are cancelled more severely than others.

Senior Lily Barrett believes it all depends on the artist’s reaction. “I think it comes down to the publicity of the situation and how the artist handles it themselves. Every situation is different but there should be some similarities in the consequences when it’s something extremely inappropriate,” she shared. 

Cancel culture can impact celebrities in varying ways and affects everyone differently. The media has played a big role in cancel culture and the popularity of celebrities. The media allows some celebrities to get away with their unacceptable actions while others get punished.