Lessons Public Figures Must Learn from Cancel Culture and the Need for Social Tolerance
“Cancel Culture” refers to one of the phenomena occurring in today’s world.
It refers to a movement to denounce the statements and actions of a specific target, such a public figure, and eliminate said target via boycott campaigns or canceling airing programs and commercials. It is a movement to thoroughly denounce the mistakes of others and dismiss them, as if to say, “You are canceled!”
There have been many examples in the past month alone, including a mentalist arguing that we don’t need homeless people, a musician abusing the handicapped, and a baseball critic expressing disdain for women. The amount of desire to cancel people is gradually heating up.
The above examples are all terrible. But is it really okay to shut public figures out of media completely just because of problematic statements? The average person has found a weapon that makes it easy to shut people out of society in social media. Ironically, society has come to a point where individuals have the potential to become the biggest monsters in the history of media. Of course, this power has also made it possible to change society for the better (for social good), but…
Kenichiro Mogi of Brain Science said on YouTube that “It’s okay to criticize what people say, but don’t deny them their humanity.” I resonated with this statement. He said, “The statement itself should not be tolerated. But I don’t think it’s right to exclude or deny the person who made it.”
I would like to be tolerant toward people. I the kindness to forgive. I don’t want our society to become difficult to live in. What can we do about this?
I think it would be better to reconsider the way celebrities apologize for their problematic comments.
Nowadays, no matter how much you apologize, society will not forgive you. In the past,the problem would go away with time, but in now, statements from the past 30 years or so have been unearthed, exposed, cut out, edited, and given extreme interpretations. A public figure that has been canceled is held accountable almost forever. Public figures are in the business of putting out messages via the media, you could say that their jobs are more risky than those of the general population. As such, they do need to maintain a higher ethical standard. But even so, their apologies are far too ineffective!
Apologizing in writing or donating proceeds to a when a problem arises is almost meaningless. On the contrary, it invites additional criticism aimed at the lack of honesty in their apology.
I think that people who make problematic statements are either ignorant or lack insight on the issue at hand. They should learn from experts about homelessness, bullying, and gender inequality issues. Then, they should learn what their mistakes were, and then, maybe, if they study hard enough, they can become more knowledgeable about the issue than the average person. They can then use their platforms to help in ways that only they can.
No society excludes people who work energetically toward solving such issues. Bringing problematic statements to light, analyzing them, and finding a way to make the situation contribute to society is a preferable way to deal with them.
Kenichiro Mogi’s YouTube video: “It’s okay to criticize what people say, but do not deny them their humanity”
DaiGo’s views on discriminatory remarks, their background, and the response (August 16, 2021)
Tomoshi Okuda, President, NPO Hoboku