Recently, the dynamic trio composed of James Charles, Tati Westbrook and Jeffree Star has come to a halt in front of the whole world. The ordeal began when Tati Westbrook uploaded a 43 minute video titled “BYE SISTER...” We understand that is getting into movie length territory so we understand if you don’t want to watch the whole thing through. The YouTube channel titled “Facts” clearly had our backs when they created this short and sweet four minute video summarising both parties arguments. The best way I could personally sum up the drama is by saying a whole lot of fishy business is going on and nobody seems to be able to get to the bottom of it. Right when the world decided to cancel James Charles, Charles shot back with his own 41 minute video exposing Westbrook and Star titled “No More Lies.” If the drama wasn’t hard enough to follow, other influencers including Nikita Dragun, Gabriel Zamora and Jeffree Star also had their own bits and pieces to add to the story as well. You can catch up on the extra nonsense in these videos: one, two, three & four.
Rest assured, this isn’t another article catching you up to speed with all of the drama. If you have no idea what’s going on, go watch the videos linked above and then come back. This James Charles situation is a prime example of cancel culture going wrong. Cancel culture is essentially when a celebrity makes a mistake, and is then deemed “cancelled” by the internet. When a celebrity is “cancelled,” many people follow blindly and cancel their favourite celebrities because it is the trendy thing to do. We have seen cancel culture play huge parts in many celebs careers time and time again. Here is a list of some famous celebrity cancellations you may or may not recall:
- Taylor Swift – Cancelled by Kim Kardashian on national snake day for falsely accusing Kanye West of not asking for her permission to use the phrase,
“I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex. Why? I made that bitch famous (God damn) I made that bitch famous.”An excerpt from Kanye West’s “Famous.”
- Selena Gomez – Cancelled by angered fans around the world when Gomez chimed in on the Swift x West drama encouraging her fans to tweet about more relevant issues that matter. When Gomez was asked about why her and Swift had not spoken about the Black Lives Matter movement Gomez responded,
“Oh lol so if I hashtag something I save lives? No – I could give two fucks about ‘sides.’ You don’t know what I do.”Selena Gomez on Twitter (@SelenaGomez)
- Ariana Grande – Cancelled by the world for appropriating Japanese culture after getting “small barbecue grill” tattooed instead of “seven rings.” Many people stated that Grande was insensitive for not during her research prior to getting the tattoo.
I include this abundant list of “cancelled” people to show how popular cancel culture is within today’s society. We tend to jump to conclusions and make irrational decisions without hearing both sides. I think this is a flaw that is not only present when it comes to celebrities but we often tend to cancel people we know in real life if we have heard allegations about behaviour we might not agree with. This topic really strikes a cord with me because I have been cancelled before due to hear say allegations and it really took a toll on me. In some cases, people are cancelled for good reasons, yes, but even in those circumstances, we should never fully close somebody off because of a mistake they have made. There is always room for people to grow and in my opinion, I definitely do believe that people can change.
The idea of being cancelled as a celebrity is one that scares me to no end. I applaud celebrities who have taken a stand after a fall. One of the many reasons why I love Taylor Swift so much is because she made a literal empire off of a mistake. Kim Kardashian is also another example of this whether you believe it or not. There is nothing more admirable than a celebrity who rises like a phoenix from the ashes to redeem themselves. I can’t imagine how hopeless some of these celebrities feel after being cancelled. They are constantly faced with their mistakes and are ridiculed endlessly on the internet. I understand in certain circumstances, people make unjustifiable mistakes and are therefore considered a danger to society and should not be acknowledged or admired. However, at the end of the day, we are humans and we all make mistakes. I don’t think it is fair to “cancel” somebody when the logical thing to do would be to explain why what they did was wrong. Cancel culture sends its victims to an extremely dark and damaging place which can hurt these people even further. I believe the way James Charles handled the situation says a lot about his character and his maturity. For only being 19 years-old, I think he still has a lot of ways to go before he can be considered a good role model, but the fact that he is acknowledging his mistakes respectfully and is working towards being his best self is admirable.
In the case of James Charles, in his explanation video, he put to bed a lot of the aimless accusations that Westbrook had made. I think this debacle in general is a great example of how pointless cancel culture is. For example, when Westbrook initially released her video everybody was very quick to cancel Charles, however, when Charles came online to clear the air, everybody was suddenly team Charles. This is not new in the world of cancel culture, it happens all of the time. We relentlessly tear someone down and shout about how their career is over, but the truth is, it’s not efficient and someone’s career never really ends even if it feels like it. No matter what attempts are made to shut somebody out from the public, there will always be supporters, therefore, rendering cancel culture useless. As Star and Westbrook now acknowledge, the only way the situation should have been dealt with is in private and amicably. As a result of sloppy actions, public slander and defamation of character, all parties have seriously hurt not only their careers but their mental health. I encourage everybody in future scandals to stay neutral until all parties have spoken, and if a party does not want to speak publicly, allow them to work it out in private. Influencers and celebrities do not owe us to air their dirty laundry out in public, and we as a society, should not be encouraging this damaging behaviour by ruling it out as “entertainment.”