The Effectiveness of Cancel Culture

A deep dive into the controversial topic of cancel culture

One of the most controversial topics in modern media is the concept of cancel culture. Cancel culture is defined as the widespread “canceling” of public figures for actions that are viewed as inaccurate, offensive, or even criminal in some circumstances. The term was brought forth following the “Me Too” movement, pushing to hold offenders accountable for their heinous acts. People like Harvey Weinstein, Bill Crosby, and R. Kelly were some of the most infamous examples of mass canceling, with many deciding to not listen to their music or watch their movies/television series. Leo Marsden, a senior at LJHS, responded to a question concerning his thoughts on early-stage cancel culture and the removal of influential people by saying, “Those people are losers. They deserved to be canceled.”

It ruins people’s careers. I just think it’s kind of toxic.

— Luisa Walraven, senior

Although cancel culture was once thought to be a form of protest against prominent personalities, it gradually lost a lot of its impact. Celebrities were suddenly subjected to this requirement of perfection, and the entirety of internet culture shifted to a more aggressive landscape built on toxicity. Cancel culture became less of people standing up against powerful individuals, and more of a battle between personal beliefs and values. Luisa Walraven, an LJHS student, when asked her thoughts on the impact of modern cancel culture, said, “It ruins people’s careers. I just think it’s kind of toxic.” With the more recent push for a more politically correct environment at a societal level, there needs to be some sort of distinction between what’s insignificant in the long run and what’s truly harmful behavior.