“Cancel Culture”: Written In The Stars

Jennifer Quintano, Writer-East

From scandals that they themselves have created to their own fans being disenchanted and canceling them,  celebrities are clearly not as “celebrated” as they once were.

All celebrities experience some type of “scandal” at one point or another in their careers. But, it’s how their fan base reacts that determines what is written in the future with these stars. Nowadays, if a celebrity–or even an influencer–makes news for statements made or an action taken, followers will suddenly “cancel” them. Maybe it was offending a specific culture, race, or gender. But, it could be far more personal: a failed relationship, drug addictions, illegal activity. With the amount of technology most have access to, as well as existing media coverage, it’s easy to unearth the background of celebrities and expose their darkest secrets. Big apps like Twitter make the sharing of these secrets both immediate and widespread.

“Cancel culture” may now be a permanent part of society. But, what does “canceling” a celebrity mean? Canceling means to stop supporting the celebrity. Without that support, many stars will fade into obscurity.  A huge “cancellation” occurred this year during quarantine after a host of celebrities and influencers expressed through the media that all should stay home and stay safe. However, people found pictures and videos of they themselves partying or going out with masks, exposing a hypocrisy. Sadly, there are even some celebrities who start drama just to get more fame and stay in the public eye.

Instead of focusing on very problematic famous people, though, it’s rare to look at the ones who are learning from their mistakes and becoming a better people. Society might want to consider canceling the “cancel culture” and adopting a return to “redemption.” People should look for the good in others instead of focusing on their faults. 

Katherine Manzanares, a freshman at Elkhart-East High School, does just that. She shared that her favorite celebrity is Ellen Pompeo. “She’s unproblematic, she’s hilarious, a good actor, and shares positive energy.”

Ashanti Maldonado, a sophomore at Elkhart-East High School, said that she really admires Ariana Grande. “In my opinion, she isn’t very problematic like most celebrities. I’ve loved her since elementary!” Maldonado admits. “She has had like one or two scandals, but that’s when she was just starting her career. They weren’t even that big. Now,” continues Maldonado, “she’s one of the biggest female artists in our generation! Also, she hasn’t been in any drama since. She’s also a very strong woman for her age and has overcome many obstacles. Overall ,” Maldonado concludes, “she has grown music-wise and mentally.” 

Looking at lists of artists, actors, influencers, or anyone else who qualifies as a “star” really shows that no celebrity has a clean record.  Everyone messes up.  But, it’s how they grow into becoming a better person that makes them shine more brightly.