It seems like every week there is another celebrity being dragged on social media for on offensive or ignorant tweet. In an attempt to be woke, people love to pull out memes and start #IsOverParty, and canceling people has quickly become part of our new normal. I can’t pretend that I have never found some of the posts really funny, and of course, some celebrities deserve to be cancelled, but cancel culture hasn’t always been helpful.
The first problem with cancel culture is that it doesn’t allow people to learn from their mistakes. For some reason, people hold celebrities to a higher moral standard and expect them to be perfect all of the time. When they do slip up, as most humans do, their mistake trends on Twitter all day, and people drag them through the mud. The only difference between you and a celebrity (besides the fact that they’re extremely rich) is that they live their life in front of the public.
Millions of people criticized every mistake they make, while you get to make mistakes in the comfort of your small circle. TMZ won’t care if you posted obnoxious tweets in 2011, and you have the luxury of growing from your missteps without worrying about the error being plastered all over the Internet.
Cancel culture restricts growth because mistakes are not seen as opportunities for the individual to gain knowledge, but instead as a chance for people to get likes with their harsh tweet. Sometimes we forget that we didn’t wake up one day and automatically know everything; Knowledge is built from life experiences and interacting with other people.
I also noticed that whenever they’re bored or just nosy, people have a tendency to look up a celebrity’s past tweets. Recently, old tweets from “Riverdale” regular, Charles Melton resurfaced, and in the posts, Melton makes insensitive jokes about overweight individuals.
These tweets are absolutely disgusting, but it is important that I point out all of these posts are from 2012. Hopefully, in the past six years, Melton has outgrown that mentality. I know for a fact that I am not the same person that I was six years ago, and I will definitely change in the next six years.
Tweeting #CharlesMeltonIsOVerParty isn’t going to make him understand the error of his tweets and never body shame other people. Melton did issue an apology and promised, “[He is] striving to do better and will use this experience to grow, helping others to understand how these types of statements are completely unacceptable.” While I hope that truly he means it, we can never be sure if he gave a genuine apology or if he wrote the statement for the sake of saving his career.
Even if he is honestly sorry, cancel culture will never forget his misstep. Some people may choose to forgive him, but his mistake will forever be linked to him, and there will still be a group of people who see it as a reason to not like him.
While it may be fun to participate in, cancel culture isn’t the best tool to use to help people learn the error of their ways. Of course, there will be some celebrities who will never learn their lesson and deserve to be dragged, but before you pull out your memes, remember that there are more helpful ways to educate people.