I want to start off this article with a question for you all:
What does Louis Ck, Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein, and Bret Kavvanaugh all have in common?
Aside from being rich, straight, white, cis men…
CW for mention of sexual assault.
If you guessed that all committed and/or were accused of some form of sexual misconduct, harassment, and assault, then you’re right, but not quite the answer I was looking for.
No, it’s that all four are examples of how cancel culture is a thing that does not exist. If it truly did, all four would be serving jail times, be bereft of the fortunes they have, and forced to clean the toilets of any public restroom situated at the food court.
What has happened instead is that all four are still working, with little to no repercussions to their lives and careers.
Louis CK is about to start a new tour soon after having visited numerous comedy clubs, which came after just not working for several months.
Harvey Weinstein was, yes, fired from his job at Miramax, but he still gets invited to big Hollywood parties and hasn’t spent a single day in jail.
Kevin Spacey? Yeah, he was fired from House of Cards, but all the charges against him were dropped, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he does find work again somewhere. After all, Roman Polanski, known pedophile rapist, sure as heck did, having been in Rush Hour 3.
And Bret Kavannaugh? He’s a Supreme Court judge appointed by Trump.
Now, those are just four off the top of my head, I can name a few others whose careers Cancel Culture should have demolished like a tank running over used Halloween pumpkins, and I’m sure others can as well.
Examples such as Jeremy Renner, who is keeping his role as Hawkeye in the Disney Plus Marvel material, in spite of past transphobic and sexist remarks, not to mention the allegations against him of physically assaulting his wife.
His Avengers co-star, Scarlet Johannson, who not only played a Japanese woman but tried to play a trans man and remains steadfast friends with Woody Allen, a known rapist… who also should have had his career ruined and left penny poor.
All the co-stars of Leslie Jones from the Ghost Busters movie should have faced something when they left their co-star out high and dry against a harassment campaign.
Brooklyn 99 Terry Crews said some questionable things about transgender people and even joked about Cancel Culture. (At least he apologized for it.)
And then there’s everyone favourite wacky actor, Jeff Goldbloom, about whom new allegations of sexual misconduct are coming forward. You can bet he’ll still have a job after it comes and goes, regardless of any fall out from a trial.
If there is one.
AND he’s friends with Roman Polanski.
Like Woody Allen is.
(Cripes, do all of these pricks know one another?)
What the term Cancel Culture is for is the dismissal of a mythical mob justice against someone who has, in the eyes of the person accusing others of cancel culture, done no wrong. Or, alternatively, that there is an over reaction to someone’s perceived slights against another human being and thus much care and time have to be taken so that true justice, instead of vigilante justice, is carried out.
It doesn’t surprise me that cancel culture has come about shortly after the surge of popularity for the hashtag #MeToo, because it’s a way of trying to control the narrative. Instead of men in powerful positions being taken to task for the crimes they’ve committed and the power they’ve abused in exchange for sexual favours, you have a mob hungry for blood, over reacting and crying out with emotional fervor.
If you reduce them to that, then you set the standards by which actions are taken, and thus diminish the very real concerns brought up by people when, say, a rapist becomes a supreme court judge.
It also occurs to me that cancel culture is like many other terms I’ve seen online to dismiss the concerns and critiques that people bring up about the patriarchy we live in, and is part of a sadly long tradition.
Some of those terms you might have heard before; SJWs, bleeding heart liberals, welfare queens, virtue signalling, communist, socialist, white knight. They’re trotted out, often by the right, to dismiss concerns brought up by anyone who’s even remotely to the left of them, or even to discredit their own, as well as to paint a big target on their backs.
Ronald Reagon trotted out the term Welfare Queen to point the blame of people who abuse the system solely on single black mothers in his anti-poor person campaign, which made for a wonderful way to mask how he was dismantling government safety nets. Not to mention I’ve been online long enough to have been called white knight and SJW merely for expressing the idea that racism is bad and hey, we should listen to women when they come forward about the sexual harassment they face online and off.
Control the narrative, and you can more easily dismiss the concerns, fears, and anger that people have, which is something that the media is very good at helping the most privileged among us do.
In conclusion, cancel culture does not exist and if you’re someone who believes it does, then you’re not truly sensitive to the injustices visited upon marginalized people and you’re more angry about your favourite movie star not getting yet another multi-million dollar paying job.