The cancel culture debate is one of the hottest raging fires on the internet these days.
Essentially, a great many folks are upset about people being “canceled” — which can take the form of being publicly shamed, shunned, fired, or low-key blacklisted — over their opinions, past or present.
Well, some folks point out a lot of what’s being referred to as “cancel culture” is just people finally suffering consequences for their actions. After all, if the star of a hot Disney show comes out and says something awful, like say, gays are the reason for earthquakes or some such nonsense we’ve actually heard people say, it makes sense for a front-facing company to distance themselves from such a toxic presence, right? That’s just business.
But does it make sense to throw these people away? Forever? Because that’s certainly what it seems like is the endgame here for some folks. Not education or enlightenment. And that’s what is bothering Sharon Stone.
The Basic Instinct star has been an outspoken presence in this new world of social media (not to mention an inspiration to women as disparate as Britney Spears and Courtney Love). And in a new interview on Sirius XM‘s Just Jenny, promoting her new memoir The Beauty of Living Twice, she gave her thoughts on the whole cancel culture debate.
First off, yes, she thinks cancel culture is a thing — and second, she thinks it’s a STUPID thing! Why? She explained:
“I think cancel culture is the stupidest thing I have ever seen happen. I think when people say things that they feel and mean, and it’s offensive to you, it’s a brilliant opportunity for everyone to learn and grow and understand each other. We all come from different ages, different cultures, different backgrounds, different things, and have had different experiences, different traumas, different upbringings, different parents, different religious backgrounds, different everything. Give people an opportunity to discuss things before you wipe out their entire person over a statement or a comment or a misunderstanding. Stop being so small.”
Dang! It’s a pretty good argument.
It does seem like some are ready to judge people harshly and definitively over disagreements. Some are being judged, even fired, for opinions they’re assumed to have because of who they follow on social media or what organizations they belong to.
Even when what someone says really is gross and ignorant, are they just deemed hopeless forever now? Is writing them off really so easy?
The whole reason this has become such a problem recently is because social media allows someone’s bad take to spread around the world in an instant — and even worse, become preserved in dark glass for years to come.
Where this gets particularly tricky is with people newly discovering for the first time the bad opinions of years past. Despite the person having already grown past their ignorance and evolved into a better version of themselves… people are newly offended and angry. And so people are being punished for their actions years, even DECADES, afterward.
James Gunn was fired from the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie over his earlier edge-lord jokes years after having publicly discussed and apologized for them. (He was later reinstated in a move that seemed to please everyone except the bad faith pizzagate folks who went after him in the first place.)
While many argue “cancel culture” is just a spiteful name for consequences, for actions… do new consequences for these kinds of past actions, ones that might not represent the kind of person someone is now, really create the kind of world we want to see? How could anyone ever escape having at one time been a jerk or even a well-meaning idiot? Heck, Chrissy Teigen just quit Twitter because she became too afraid of saying the wrong thing!
Frankly, some of us take longer than others to learn. But y’all still actually want us all to learn, right? Shouldn’t the goal be to try and win over hearts and minds?
OK, so enough of our gabbing — what do YOU think?? Is cancel culture real? Is it just a bad name for something positive? Or has it simply become the mob justice some believe it to be?? Let us know what YOU think in the comments (below)!
[Image via WENN/Avalon.]