Ah, cancel culture: the modern issue of online shaming, usually directed toward the wrong person for the wrong reasons.
Today’s pick-and-choose cancel culture overreacts to social media creators’ minor faux pas while allowing accused and convicted felons to keep their platforms and continue thriving in the public spotlight.
A perfect example of a cancel-culture casualty is the TikTok famous D’Amelio sisters. The D’Amelio drama occurred in November, nearly inflicting permanent damage on Charli and Dixie D’Amelio’s careers as social media influencers. The “cancelling” arose from a YouTube video in which they jokingly criticized a chef’s food.
Claimed to be a planned prank, Dixie vomited after unknowingly trying the chef’s escargot dish. She later explained in a TikTok video that the chef took no offense and everyone else expected the reaction.
Charli, on the other hand, received the most criticism for an accused lack of appreciation for her unmatched follower count on TikTok since becoming known as the most viral TikTok creator.
She said in the video, “I wish I had more time,” alluding to her long-awaited record milestone of 100 million followers.
Ideally, she fantasized reaching 100 million followers exactly a year after her one million mark rather than before the anniversary. However, negative internet audiences decided to take her wishful thinking out of context. Other gullible users subsequently chimed in with these accusations.
As a result of the YouTube video, both D’Amelio sisters received hate comments and death threats on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. A total of nearly five million TikTok users unfollowed Charli and severely delayed her from hitting 100 million followers.
Similarly in past years, YouTube makeup artist James Charles was framed for various scandals and lost almost one million subscribers due to false accusations that nearly ended his career. He also partook in meaningless internet feuds that only sparked to more drama.
According to Insider, Charles got temporarily “cancelled” for cracking inappropriate jokes, allegedly manipulating people and describing influencers as a marginalized group.
Twitter accounts flooded social media with negative backlash and untrue accusations, leading impressionable online audiences to believe the ongoing misconceptions about Charles’ real internet presence. He now claims to have good intentions and is always willing to release a public apology if necessary. Regardless, many of his ex-subscribers continue to dislike him and exemplify cancel culture’s toxicity.
James Charles and the D’Amelio sisters continue to face unending hate for their less-than-appropriate remarks, but cancel culture ironically feeds into the worst celebrities’ fame nonetheless.
The majority of active TikTok users are now aware that Tony Lopez and Zoe Laverne notoriously groomed minors, yet the stars have maintained their platforms, nonetheless. Both creators remain verified on TikTok despite common knowledge—not to mention legal proof—of their actions. Although most comments on their posts are hate messages, they still boost Lopez’s and Laverne’s accounts because of how the TikTok app operates.
But Lopez and Laverne are far from the worst celebrities to avoid cancel culture.
The rapper 6ix9ine, who carelessly chants slurs and misogynistic phrases in his songs, recently became a convicted felon. He pled guilty to a sexual misconduct case in 2015—forcing him to register as a sex offender—but ultimately avoided serving jail time; instead he was sentenced to four years on probation and 1,000 hours of community service.
As of 2018, 6ix9ine’s other felonies included choking a 16-year-old girl and assaulting a police officer. He has been “subject to heavy surveillance” by the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and New York Police Department according to Digital Music News.
Later that year, he faced a two-year prison sentence under charges of racketeering and gang activity as reported by Republic World. He got released from prison on April 2, 2020, while presumably staying on probation.
Even so, 6ix9ine’s mixtape “Day69” boasted hundreds of millions of Spotify plays.His song “GOOBA” rose to popularity when it began trending on TikTok. He has not been “cancelled” but, rather, unadmired by those who are familiar with his disgusting criminal record.
Such is the indescribably toxic, hypocritical cycle of cancel culture. Rebuking seemingly unproblematic stars for their imperfect statements often supersedes holding others accountable for serious crimes, leading the public to question what the real priority should be in social media culture.