Cancelling Culture


Alex Hanks

Exiled from pop culture and found guilty in the court of public opinion, shameful public figures are being de-platformed at a rapid rate, and I am on board.

“Cancel Culture” is deplatforming a public figure for his or her horrific actions. You no longer stream their music, watch their shows, or buy their books. You cease to pay for their craft due to heinous acts. Millennials stay in touch with an artist’s personal life because we do not want celebrities to use their platforms negatively.

I pulled up to a stoplight the other day and heard a truck’s sound system bumping and Trent (we’re going to call him Trent just for the sake of the story) was blasting Tekashi 6ix9ine. I was appalled and thought to myself, “6ix9ine? I thought he was cancelled.”

Tekashi 6ix9ine, the rainbow-haired, tatted up, rapper is in prison for conspiracy to commit murder, racketeering and robbery. He also plead guilty to the use of a child in a sexual act, yet his music still plays on the radio and he gets media coverage. Why is that? It’s because people like Trent think they can, “separate the artist from their art.” I sick of hearing that.

So, when should someone be cancelled? They need to have a track record of heinous acts. We need to consider that while these individuals are winning Grammys, going platinum and headlining music festivals; their victims are sitting at home with the trauma. Saying you’re going to “separate an artist from their art,” enables their behavior.

Fully research the scope of the allegations to gain an understanding of the situation. It is wreckless to blindly cancel celebrities when we have little to no information on the situation. We know that R.Kelly has a history of abuse, Kevin Spacey has a track record of sexual misconduct, and Bill Cosby is a predator. Those are the individuals we need to be cancelling and for the most part, we do.

Yet we also cancel guys like Kanye West for wearing a MAGA and put him in the same bracket as R.Kelly or Cosby and it’s the wrong thing to do. We can’t cancel Travis Scott for performing at the Super Bowl halftime show this weekend, he’s not harming anyone. If we want to fight to create a world where people are held accountable for their actions, we need to be careful with who we cancel. Cancelling anyone we don’t agree with will cause it to lose its meaning.

I am proud of my generation. We say no to workplace harassment. We are tired of misogyny, inequality and rape culture being a part of everyday life in America. We refuse to let predatory celebrities continue to flourish. We know we can do better and we are. If you’re on campus and you hear the faint sound of 6ix9ine coming out of a guy’s AirPods, it’s probably Trent. Don’t be Trent. Let’s hold each other accountable and give platforms to unproblematic artists who deserve to shine.

P.S. we have a very real opportunity to cancel a predator in the 2020 presidential election. I hope my fellow Roadrunners are looking forward to that day.