Cancel Culture is everywhere, right?
In the aftermath of her live Instagram TV episode, Jameela Jamil’s fans, followers and wider audience have *finally* started sharing the truth about cancel culture. Essentially, the view that it’s utter bollocks. People should be allowed to make mistakes. Sure, I have no tolerance for people being deliberately obtuse and offensive at present, but we were all young and foolish once.
Seriously, every time I log into Timehop or my social media brings up memories from the past, I am shocked at myself. I have put awful things out there on the internet. I have been a horrible human being in my time. But I didn’t know any better. I was clueless and young and naive and 17, for crying out loud. I’ve since shown willingness to learn and grown as a person because of that, so should I really still be penalised for a problematic tweet I sent into the twitter-sphere 12 years ago, when I didn’t understand what discrimination like homophobia and racism actually was?
Let me be very clear, I am referring to trivial issues here, as opposed to people who behave in ways clearly detrimental. Basically, I will never condone illegal behaviour like rape, murder and genocide. I’d kind of hoped that was a given.
We should be striving for progress, not perfection. In the words of Alex Winter (@winter on Twitter), “the term cancel culture is a bad faith fallacy. There’s only consequence culture, it’s long overdue and most of the exposed predators have yet to face meaningful consequences.
Not too long ago, I was so overwhelmed by the persistent cancelling of celebs and the like. It seemed like whenever anyone cocked up, they were automatically banished from popularity and people were petitioning for their downfall. Sure, in cases like Kevin Spacey’s, where he had behaved unforgivably, I made the conscious decision to boycott his work (in particular his latest film). And I stand by that. But then I was so torn about whether or not it was appropriate to apply the same punishment to someone who mistakenly used the incorrect terminology to describe same-sex love in a Youtube video 10 years ago.
Believe it or not, in attempt to keep up and on top of who was and wasn’t cancelled, I made a list. Literally. I put together a spreadsheet of names with reasoning behind them being cancelled, just so I had something to refer back to when someone mentioned a big name and I had a niggling feeling that there was negative news surrounding them. Because, and for fuck’s sake this should say it all, I couldn’t remember who to hate and why to hate them. Which is bollocks. Obviously, I can remember the heinous crimes committed by the likes of Weinstein, Trump and Saville. But if I can’t remember that idiotic mistake someone made way back when they were a teenager in the early noughties, it should probably be forgotten for good. This is purely further proof that we are ever evolving, and should be allowed to do so.
And it’s not just Queen Jameela calling out this bullshit. Not two weeks ago, Barack Obama spoke out at his foundation’s summit, and stated that cancel culture is not an effective form of activism, and wasn’t going to bring about change. “This idea of purity, and you’re never compromised, and you’re always politically woke and all that stuff, you should get over that quickly,” he said.“The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws.”
Yeah, I know, right? Just when you thought you couldn’t love him any more. It’s important to remember that you can be both a good person and a work in progress. Mistakes like these should not and cannot define us.
Let’s cancel Cancel Culture.