The Controversy of Cancel Culture

By Rachel Houng and Emma Ouyang


In a world where people from all different countries are a tap away, the rise of the internet and social media platforms has allowed cancel culture, a modern form of ostracism, to become more prevalent. Social media users target influencers, companies, brands, and even films for their offensive or problematic actions and attempt to shut down their popularity. While cancel culture may originate from good intentions, people often misinterpret issues or use “canceling” as an opportunity to vent anger, since it is easier to be blindsided or aggressive behind a digital screen. Similarly, people are affected by mob mentality, in which they blindly mimic the behavior of others. Coupled with the increasing amount of time spent on social media during the COVID-19 pandemic, cancel culture has grown exponentially.


Many influencers have been thrown under the bus by netizens (users of the internet) while their fans have defended them. Currently, one of the most controversial issues includes the involvement of Charli D’Amelio, Dixie D’Amelio, Trisha Paytas, and James Charles. Users of the internet criticized one pair of TikTok’s most popular influencers, Charli D’Amelio and Dixie D’Amelio, because they were seemingly disrespectful towards their personal chef, who had prepared a meal with snails. Dixie’s reaction involved gagging and throwing up while Charli then asked for dinosaur chicken nuggets.


“[The D’Amelio sisters were] canceled because of the media thinking that they were selfish and ungrateful,” said sophomore Vanessa Wong.


As their video gained popularity, Paytas got involved in the situation by making a series of videos calling them ungrateful and Charles a predator, since he was a guest at the dinner. However, Charles created a video where he called out Paytas on her past actions, causing many netizens to take his side.


Through a poll on Instagram, it was shown that 67% of The Chariot's followers follow the drama of social media celebrities such as Jeffree Star, Tati Westbrook, the D'Amelio's, Charles, and Paytas. While the tea could be entertaining to some, others believed that media involvement complicated the situation.


“I originally felt that it was what they deserved; however, after hearing their side of the story, I feel it was over-exaggerated a bit,” said junior Mahek Chaudry.


Artwork by Shadia Zayer

Users of social media try to dethrone influencers from their fame if they believe an influencer has done something unacceptable.


With constant internet involvement and a large number of influencers being “canceled,” is it truly the right option? One alternative could be to educate influencers in a less aggressive manner. As aforementioned, many internet users involved themselves, which may have overblown the conflicts.


However, being “canceled” may be beneficial, as there are celebrities/influencers that have come back from being canceled and have improved themselves. Logan Paul is an example of a positive case since he has become more educated and empathetic after his incident in Japan.


On the other hand, cancel culture may also be ineffective as Paytas remains controversial by fueling the fire in certain issues. Some people may applaud her for her actions because she is calling other influencers out. On the other hand, some people disagree since she is interfering when the situations do not involve her.


With the ability to access all sorts of information on cellular devices, influencers have the ability to make the world aware of their issues and conflicts. As a result, some situations may be over-exaggerated, resulting in the introduction of cancel culture. In a technologically advanced society, it is evident that users of the internet need to be cautious of their words.