Cancel Culture: More about Control than Justice

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The phenomenon of “cancelling” people, brands, shows, and even movies due to what some may deem to be offensive or problematic remarks or ideologies is known as “cancel culture,” and it is not particularly new. Throughout human history, cancel culture has had its roots. Societies have historically penalised individuals for acting outside of accepted social norms.

This domestic cancel culture is unending in its absurdity. First of all, the people asking for these bans haven’t seen the movies they’re trying to outlaw. This domestic cancel culture is unending in its absurdity. First of all, the people asking for these bans haven’t seen the movies they’re trying to outlaw. They have only seen the trailer or a poster, so they already know it should be avoided (to coin a new word in support of the massive trend).

In the past, Black LGBTQ+ individuals frequently expressed their disapproval of another person’s actions on social media by using the word “cancel.” It wasn’t until much later that it became clear that dumping someone also meant professional boycotting. Cancel culture can aid in the fight against injustice and inequality. For instance, a large portion of the film industry boycotted the Oscars in 2016 due to the lack of diversity among the nominees. As a result, social change was aided, and in 2019, the Oscars nominated the most Black directors ever, setting a record.

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In the past, Black LGBTQ+ individuals frequently expressed their disapproval of another person’s actions on social media by using the word “cancel.”

A group of people coming together for a common goal can be empowering. Additionally, it may encourage people to pause before engaging in inappropriate behaviour or publishing potentially hurtful ideas and opinions.

Keep in mind what a wise man once said: If it’s an eye for an eye, civilization will soon be blind. There are no concerns about objectionable performers in the movies. Because if everyone is blind, there wouldn’t be any movies. An unprecedented crisis is affecting the movie theatre industry. If it is to survive, it needs all the assistance it can get from its devoted patrons. The time is not now to cower in a corner and sulk over fictitious insults. Let’s stop being so shy about who said what. The professional protesters need to find some other form of occupation.

Sadly, cancelling frequently results in bullying. Similar to bullying, being cancelled can make you feel isolated from others and lonely. Additionally, studies demonstrate a link between loneliness and higher rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide. It can also seem as though everyone is giving up on you if you are cancelled before you have a chance to say sorry (let alone change your behavior). The cancelers cut off all communication rather than starting a conversation to help you understand how your actions hurt other people, essentially depriving you of the chance to grow and learn from your mistakes.

The social media trend has gained traction over the past few years under the hip new moniker, which has put media, businesses, and celebrities alike under the political correctness microscope. Not only are the cancelled and the cancelers impacted by the cancel culture. The mental health of those watching can also suffer greatly. Some onlookers are paralysed with fear after witnessing so many people being cancelled. They become paralysed by fear that if they fully express themselves, people will reject them. This might lead them to suppress their feelings rather than discussing and processing them with others.

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The time is not now to cower in a corner and sulk over fictitious insults. Let’s stop being so shy about who said what.

People who are watching might also be concerned that someone will use something from their past against them. They might also worry that, even if something wasn’t meant to be offensive, every word they say or write will be scrutinised closely. Bystanders may decide to keep quiet about an event or situation rather than express their opinions. As a result, they may carry around guilt for a long time after the incident or circumstance has passed—guilt for not speaking up for someone else when they had the chance.

It is not acceptable to cancel a movie simply and foolishly. The crew, the writers, the directors, their efforts are in vain because of the two actors you fired due to a stupid remark they made in the past. You cannot continue to judge someone based on something they said many years ago because people change over time. Remember, too, that “only actors do not make the film.”

Actors are just as much a part of the movie as anyone else who puts endless effort into a project. You are free to decide not to watch a movie if you so choose; however, mass cancellation of a project that you are unaware of and haven’t seen is an inappropriate use of the cancel culture. You have the authority to remove someone who has wronged the public, but you shouldn’t be able to remove everyone for personal reasons.

Aishwarya Samanta