• Emerging Media

Cancel Culture

By Sejal Sekhar '23


I am sure you have heard the phrase “cancel culture” as it has become so mainstream with Gen Z, but what really is cancel culture? Well, according to Dictionary. com, "Cancel culture refers to the popular practice of withdrawing support for (canceling) public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive. [It is] generally discussed as being performed on social media in the form of group shaming." This practice used to be used in relation to bigger scandals as it was difficult to reach the status of an influencer. Although there are different levels to fame, TikTok has created a way for anyone to gain popularity in a matter of weeks. When a person gains a large following, they are given a platform that allows them to be in the eyes of the people and interact more directly with fans. As more people can become famous due to social media, more people in turn investigate the background of influencers and see whether they are fit to have a platform.

The most famous person on TikTok, Charli D'Amelio, was recently facing getting cancelled for a controversy on her attitude towards her fans. Additionally, Charli faced backlash due to her saying she wished that she had 100 million followers instead of 99.5 million after a year on TikTok, which prompted her sister to start receiving cancellation too. In the case of Dixie D'Amelios, she was being held accountable for criticizing a snail that was made for her in front of the personal chef that made it. This led fans to perceive these two sisters as ungrateful and not deserving of their platforms. In relation to cancel culture outside of TikTok, many companies have lost their customers due to company-wide cancellations. One of the biggest scandals I have heard of regarding companies happened in the summer of 2019. Consumers had seen an undercover video taken at Fair Oaks Farms which is one of the locations of Fairlife, a milk company. The video shows calves being mistreated as employees were kicking, throwing, and violently abusing the animals. With the backlash Fairlife was facing, they attempted to rebrand their image, but the power of the media overtook them. Fairlife later admitted that the employees that were seen in the video were apprehended and arrested. Their consumers, however, were not forgiving as they did not appreciate how the situation was handled only after the video was released.

So, after hearing all of this, do you think cancel culture is acceptable or not?