• Tanweer Dar

Cancel Culture

'Cancel Culture' has become quite the hot topic these days, with strong feelings both for and against the increasingly ubiquitous phenomenon.

There are those who would argue that it isn't cancel culture at all, but consequence culture; that celebrities and those in the public eye are held accountable for their words and actions. It is also encouraging to see the cult of celebrity diminished. Too many times have the rich and powerful been idolised and excused, allowed to get away with things that the should have been held accountable for. And too often celebrities have felt themselves above judgment, able to disproportionately impact social issues and current affairs with their huge platforms. That they are no longer considered beyond criticism definitely has to be a positive.

What is a little concerning, though, is the viciousness and immediacy with which cancel culture often presents itself. In the world of social media and instant communication, reactions are often knee-jerk and without due thought or investigation. It is also easy to get caught up in mob justice, dog-piling on an individual and hounding them mercilessly. Words are jumped upon, without effort to examine context or situation. A little thought and patience goes a long way, and often reveals a more complex picture than is initially presented.

It is also important to recognise the rather mundane fact that celebrities are ordinary human beings, despite the fact that they might lead extraordinary lives in extraordinary circumstances. They make mistakes, many of which they might immediately (or later) regret. They also have thoughts, and feelings. They can be hurt. A little empathy, patience and understanding can go a long way.

As long as people refrain from knee-jerk reactions and mob mentality, however, it is important not to hesitate to hold the rich and powerful to account. Someone has to.

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