Gen Z Explained: “ur cancelled”

Ari Matias Perez, Co-Editor in Chief, Co-News Editor

What does being cancelled entail?  According to Merriam Webster “to cancel someone (usually a celebrity or other well-known figure) means to stop giving support to that person.”  We often see this play out on social media and has been popularized by older Gen Z.  At first, cancelling someone was our generation’s attempt at holding influencers accountable for problematic or irresponsible action.  Soon, cancelling someone twisted into something toxic and used as a weapon against creators when the masses simply decided they didn’t like them anymore.   

The actual effectiveness of cancelling someone is up for debate right now.  Although creators should be held accountable for their actions, a lot of the time this is simply an excuse to deplatform someone for the sake of doing so.  There are a select few that have been deemed “non cancelable” or often people simply choose to disregard creators that are causing actual harm.  

Very recently, 16 year old TikTok influencer Charli D’Amelio with 100 million followers was under scrutiny and in the process of being cancelled.  While filming her family’s reality T.V. show Charlie was caught saying “Imagine if I hit 100 mil [followers] a year after hitting a mil.”   People took this as arrogance and entitlement.  They took to TikTok and Twitter to bash her and started a movement to mass unfollow her causing Charli to lose 500 thousand followers on TikTok.   

However, this attempt at deplatforming Chalri, a child, failed. After Charli apologized for her words and expressed “all of this is happening because of a misunderstanding” people came to realize that the wave of massive hate was not justified.  A 16 year old girl is prone to mistakes and shouldn’t be “cancelled” for wanting to achieve another great milestone at such a young age.  In truth, most people wish hate on the most successful without reason, and in this case, were simply looking for a reason to justify their hate for anything a teenage girl does.  

The thing with cancel culture is that it is not objective.  People will try to cancel creators for a simple mistake but ignore those who actually need to be held accountable for a past of racism, homophobia, or sexual misconduct.  

The act of cancelling someone has bred into something far different for what it originally was created for.  Instead of actually holding people accountable for genuine mishaps, including those who we personally support, we are picking and choosing who is untouchable.  Not to mention that people hold women and young teenage girls with these platforms at a much higher standard than men who share similar followings, but that’s a story for another time.  

Gen Z is a weird mix of people that are either rational thinkers or completely deranged. Perhaps this is something that happens in all generations but I’m just more aware of it since I’m part of Gen Z.  Nevertheless, this makes it extremely hard for any change in our online culture to actually happen. Hopefully more people realize the toxicity regarding cancel culture and begin to simply hold people accountable.  Although my generation has quite a bit of self reflection left to do, I do believe we had pure intentions.  But as with everything, we need to progress and fix things when they have turned sour and corrupt.