OPINION: Drop Cancel Culture (Or At Least Don’t Send Death Threats)

Tiana Gonzales, OwlFeed Opinion Reporter

Famous YouTuber Jenna Marbles and Greg Patton, a professor at the University of Southern California: what do these two individuals have in common? They are both victims of cancel culture. 

 Anyone can get canceled, from popular celebrities to everyday people.

Jenna Marbles, whose offensive earlier videos from 2011 and 2012 that featured gender stereotypes and blackface, was heavily criticized by her fans but some saw that her moving away from this content was a representation of how much she has grown throughout the years as a person. 

She gave an authentic apology for videos from 2011 and 2012 which have not been public on her account for several years.“I just want to make sure the things I’m putting in the world aren’t hurting anyone,” Marbles said. “So I need to be done with this channel, for now, or for forever.”

Fans and public figures commended her for taking accountability but were left split over her decision to leave the platform, many arguing cancel culture has gone too far

Professor Greg Patton, who taught business communication at USC, was mistaken for saying what sounded like a racial slur but was actually a Chinese word that sounded similar in his class when teaching a lesson on “filler words” in other languages. This ended with him being replaced as an instructor of the course, effective immediately.

Society needs to drop cancel culture because it is toxic. In some instances, I think giving people a chance to take responsibility and make amends for their past mistakes is great but most of the time people take it too far. It doesn’t allow you to show that you have grown and learned your lesson, and sometimes you can get canceled over others’ mistakes. 

Gina Gonzales Rodriguez, a sophomore at Agua Fria High School who has a very strong opinion on cancel culture, agrees that society needs to drop cancel culture. “I feel like cancel culture is very toxic,” Gina said. “And I think that because most of the time people are trying to cancel big creators or something and it’s always something from their past. People try to make it seem like you can’t grow from your past.”

 The term “canceled” has been around since late 2014. Recently we have seen a surge of people getting canceled for various reasons, usually due to having expressed an opinion that isn’t well liked, or having conducted themselves in a way that is unacceptable in the past or present. Now generally it is in the context of being performed on social media in the form of group shaming but it does carry on in real life with real consequences. 

  Those who get canceled are subjected to hate and forced to take responsibility for their actions, which is great (not the hate part), until you realize cancel culture isn’t about taking responsibility and learning from your mistakes. It’s really about bullying that person until they feel like having a mental breakdown and ruining their life.

Photo Credit: Markus Winkler from Pixabay

In some instances, bringing up their past is relevant to the situation but if a person already apologized and is actively trying to be a better person then why continue to shame them?  

That’s not the only thing that cancel culture has done to people. People who are getting cancelled receive death threats against them and their families and even getting doxed, which is taking it too far. Doxing is when someone searches for and publishes private or identifying information about an individual on the internet.

Instead of outright canceling people, we as a society should decide what really matters, if the person who got canceled can make amends for their actions and be a better person or if they really should have to. People who are canceled for having different opinions shouldn’t get death threats or doxed no matter what. If you choose to not support that person or company anymore, then that’s your choice, but you shouldn’t pressure other people too if they don’t. 

People who have said or done something that is not appropriate in their past should get a second chance to take responsibility for their actions and show that they are a better person. If they don’t, then don’t support them anymore.