Updated: Mar 25, 2021
Cancel Culture; Episode Preview and Article.
Written by: David Barbu & Alvina Anwar - Writers for the Topilitical' article chain.
Welcome, Topiltical viewers! The following article is the first of the series you have been promised. We are very excited to start this separate chain in the podcast and hope you will enjoy it. These articles will contain a more in-depth description of what will be discussed in the episode, the varying opinions of society and the reasons so.
Whether you are at the age of fifteen or mid-thirties, the large majority of us have heard of the phrase “cancel culture”. "A modern form of ostracism, in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles – whether it be online, on social media, or in person. Those who are subject to this ostracism are said to have been canceled." The idea and practices have been spreading like wildfire, and few people truly understand what it’s about. This week's episode will dive into this topic, and here we give insight as to what the topics we debate truly mean.
Cancel culture involves, as it seems, the cancellation of a singular person or group of people. The idea is that if someone were to, unfortunately, commit an indecent act that was to have been exposed to the public, they shall lose their platform and privileges. The majority of the time, it applies to celebrities and modern-day influencers. However, from time to time, it can even apply to regular day-to-day citizens. Possibly even your next-door neighbour.
It had started as more of an innocent practice, with early participants that had genuinely good intentions. The idea was to seek justice for those who have been wronged. Few people want to support someone whom everyone knows is a problematic person, and cancel culture surrounds that. It picks a specific person/group of people and uses them as an example of what will, or at least should, happen if someone else were to do a similar act.
Although cancel culture itself is relatively new and had taken off in the early 2010s, the idea of public shame has been around for decades, centuries even. It can go back to public death sentencing, where crowds can watch the wrongdoer face execution. As cruel as it may seem, people love to blame others for their actions. To be able to point the finger at someone else.
So, as you can imagine, this issue is quite controversial, meaning there is a large amount of room for debates to occur. This leads to our inspiration for this week’s topic. Is cancel culture adequate and beneficial, or does it bring more harm than good? Debating each side, we have our newest member, Nehan Mohaimin, against cancel culture. On the other hand, a loyal and significant member of the podcast, Chang Li, will be supporting cancel culture.
If you have not heard of cancel culture you may have trouble forming an opinion on it yet. Here we will now list the pros and cons that surround this topic.
The advantage of cancel culture is that it recognizes when someone has done something wrong. Cancel culture does make sure that people aren’t pushed around, and that there is accountability involved. However, there are cases in which it will be more so a punishment, with no chance to change as a person, but rather face the consequences for what you've done.
The thing with cancel culture is that, if you’ve done something frowned upon, you do not receive the opportunity to redeem yourself. It slaps a label on your forehead, deciding who you are for years and years of your life. It doesn’t matter whether you genuinely regret it or not. The fact is, you’ve done it at one point, so it defines who you are.
This causes debate. Some believe that they deserve to have that label, even if what they’ve done wasn’t major, or how long ago the act they've committed was. Cancel culture does not recognize that if the indecent act was several years ago, the social norms may have been different then, for example, using slurs that are no longer acceptable today, but were not an issue in the time in which the act was committed.
Others believe that one act shouldn’t define a person forever, since everyone has done things they dislike and would go back in time to fix it if possible. It can be biased, depending on which side you’re on. If you’re part of the group which was insulted, you may be reluctant to forgive the oppressor. If you’re part of a group that was harming others or a singular person causing chaos, you might hope that people understand and forgive you.
One place where cancel culture is quite prevalent is social media. On a number of social media platforms, such as Twitter, Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram, there have been many cases of cancel culture. Sometimes it’s a celebrity, who’s done something unacceptable. Sometimes it’s a regular person with once malicious intentions, but possibly different now.
Sometimes, it can even be people who haven’t done anything wrong.
We hope you enjoyed the very first article from the Topilitical article chain! We appreciate your interest and support in our podcast! The episode covering cancel culture will be live as of Sunday/March/28.