By Griffin Winter ’21
The topic of cancel culture has become an everyday talking point at Brophy over the past year, both in and out of the classroom. Unfortunately, cancel culture has become too widespread as a talking point across the United States and is a distraction from real issues plaguing the country.
We, as a student body, have talked about cancel culture persistently, but we need to define what it actually is. The Dictionary.com definition for Cancel culture refers to the popular practice of withdrawing support for, or “canceling,” public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive. Cancel culture is generally discussed as being performed on social media in the form of group shaming.
With the definition that was put forth, cancel culture should not be as widespread of a topic among both the Brophy student body and the faculty. Cancel culture directly applies to public figures and companies, not high school students. It is not cancel culture if a student is expelled from school or a teacher is fired from their job, for whatever reason in either case. That seems fairly obvious to me, but with the way we have talked about cancel culture, I would’ve thought that was the case. So, for everyday-Americans, cancel culture isn’t really a reality.
In my opinion, that is just the consequences of someone’s actions. For a majority of cancel culture cases in the mainstream, I think that is the case as well. And even if the people getting ‘canceled’ are fired, they eventually find work. Again, this is for people who are in the public sphere. I think that point is illustrated in people and things that have happened fairly recently.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the group that handles the work of the famous author, recently announced that a handful of titles will no longer be printed or sold. After this, mainstream titles like “The Cat and the Hat” were topping bestsellers lists.
Gina Carano, who played the character of Cara Dune on the Disney+ show “The Mandalorian” was recently fired for comparing the treatment of conservatives in America to Jewish people in the Holocaust. Immediately after, she signed a contract with conservative pundit Ben Shapiro.
Morgan Wallace, a best selling country artist, was caught saying a racial slur on camera, but nonetheless, his songs climbed the charts on Spotify in order to counter the “cancel culture.” What these three examples show is that ‘cancel culture’ doesn’t actually work, and that it has taken up so much airtime on talk shows, that it has become a distraction from bigger issues.
COVID-19 still claims hundreds of deaths a day. Extremist violence is still a large threat in America. Gun violence has been an issue for decades at this point, and yet no solutions have worked. Racial groups still face persecution. These issues and many more are the issues we should be focused on solving, not cancel culture.