In recent years, many celebrities and big names got cancelled for their past behaviour or what they said was hurtful, stopping their career and generating anger from mass audiences. Cancel culture is when people publicly shame and avoid others or groups they think did something wrong. Some people believe it’s about holding wrongdoers accountable (ahem, Harvey Weinstein), and it should rightfully punish those who are proven guilty of sexually assaulting someone, but it could cause more harm than good. Let’s explore why cancel culture can be a problem.
First, cancel culture often quickly judges without looking at the whole story. People may be judged harshly for one thing they said or did, without considering the context, which could prevent people from talking openly and learning from their mistakes. Even what they said can be unacceptable now, as long as they apologize, I think it’s completely fine. Why spend so much time on what a celebrity said decades ago? Instead of promoting understanding, cancel culture often makes people more certain of their existing beliefs.
Also, cancel culture oversimplifies human nature. People grow and change their minds over time. Holding them forever accountable for their past actions creates a culture of fear and punishment, instead of one of understanding and progress. It doesn’t give room for forgiveness and improvement, which are crucial for an improving society.
Cancel culture also threatens free speech. While addressing toxic behaviour is important, completely stopping people from expressing their thoughts can make them scared to speak up. This fear can limit creativity, innovation, and the healthy sharing of ideas. A society where people are afraid to speak hinders learning.
Moreover, cancel culture often leads to cyberbullying and angry mob behaviour. Social media can create tension quickly, making it easy for people online to attack individuals or businesses. This online attack can hurt someone’s mental health, job, and reputation, sometimes without a fair investigation.
A big concern with cancel culture is that it doesn’t offer a way for people to make amends. For a society that encourages growth and learning to exist, there should also be a chance for people to show they’re sorry and change. Cancelling them forever denies this possibility and keeps them isolated and bitter.
Even though cancel culture may want to hold people accountable and improve society, it can negatively affect free speech, fairness, and kindness. Dealing with unacceptable behaviour should focus on teaching and growing rather than quickly punishing and separating. Finding the right balance between holding people responsible and understanding them is essential for a better society.