Cancel Culture

Do the negative impacts outweigh the positive?


Demetria Slyt, Opinion Writer

For those of you who aren’t aware, cancel culture refers to the mass withdrawal of support from public figures or celebrities who have done things that aren’t socially accepted today. This practice of “canceling” or mass shaming often occurs on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. These emerging conflicts are often due to various themes such as sexism, racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, domestic abuse or sexual assault. A fairly recent example is the domestic abuse allegations against known celebrity Johnny Depp, which I believe were eventually proven to be false. Many people disagree with this practice completely or at least say that certain elements of it seem to be an issue. 

I believe the big problem with cancel culture is that people who are facing this mass shaming may not fully comprehend what they did wrong, or they aren’t being given an opportunity to learn from this mistake. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and have every right to their beliefs, but there is a certain point when ethics come into play and you always need to think before you speak or get a new point of view. You need to be able to learn from your mistakes and grow, that is something I will always support. I do not condone the maliciousness of “going after people” or “taking someone down” rather than helping them learn and supporting their change, as well as make their own personal journey to be better. 

 Now, I’m not saying that I don’t support cancel culture but as mentioned there are aspects of it that I do not agree with. For one, is it morally right to maliciously slander someone’s name or even end their career over a mistake or belief? Well, that depends if what they did or if what they believe is morally bankrupt in nature. If you were in the same position as these people being “canceled” what would be your honest reaction? I would be absolutely terrified if I had to face something like this myself, but at the same time, I would own up to it and try to gain a new perspective moving forward. However, not everyone is the same and everyone would respond differently to this situation. We live in a very large and diverse world, with many cultural and ethical differences; which we all try very hard to comprehend, so as to not offend and or disrespect anyone. Especially in a work environment. 

While cancel culture seems to almost literally tackle celebrities and politicians, it can also occur in the workplace. People can sometimes get fired for allegations against them, and also when private information or messages are shared with their employerssimply via word-of-mouth. In some cases, these employees are actually innocent, and this is true even for some celebrities. Like the “Defamation” case of Johnny Depp for example, which I mentioned earlier, where he was proven innocent. If you’d like to read more on that, here is a link to an article I found online that covers all the details of this incident in a little more depth:  

Even though most of this article deals with the negative aspects of this topic, I would like to highlight at least a few obvious positives. One being that people who are purposely doing wrong aren’t being supported anymore. It has also been very helpful in combating the aforementioned issues such as racism, and sexism; as well as various other types of abuse. It holds people accountable for their actions rather than letting them run rampant, like spoiled children, without any sort of consequences. It also helps bring forth justice against these wrongdoers, which the justice system sometimes fails to do. In some cases, this justice bringing scenario isn’t accomplished as quickly as people demand it, where justice rightfully should be dealt with. Especially in cases regarding race, such as George Floyd or Breonna Taylor 

What are your thoughts on cancel culture? Do you support it or just some aspects of it or none of it at all? I am always interested in hearing other people’s perspectives! I would also encourage those who would like to reach out to me to email me with their own thoughts or even feedback!  


Demetria Slyt is a Dakota Student Opinion Writer. She can be reached at [email protected]