Letter to the Editor: cancel culture response

Morgan Mohalla, Quinnipiac Student

We live in an age where everything seems to be on the record. Celebrities’ worst moments are turned into headlines for us all to pass judgment on and wage war over. 

A clever person may suspect that news and social media sensationalizes debatable topics to drive engagement and improve advertisement revenue. But what happens when someone crosses the line, and we want them gone for good?

Ellen DeGeneres was complacent in a toxic working environment; NBC canceled her two shows. Patton Oswalt posed for a picture with his longtime friend Dave Chappelle; his fans began to personally attack him on social media, so he issued apologies that alienated him from his friend and his audience. 

Kevin Spacey was at the height of his career before losing everything and is still facing legal charges over sexual allegations from 1986. Harvey Weinstein, at one point the most powerful man in Hollywood, was praised by first lady Michelle Obama as “a wonderful human” and a “good friend,” is deservedly spending the next 23 years in jail. Numerous more examples can be made.

The real problem I have with Xavier Cullen’s April 6 article is that it is littered with name-calling, suppositions and errors. In his article, he claims that Louis C.K. admitted to sexually assaulting his five victims rather than him admitting to sexual harassment and misconduct. Still awful and worth cancelation, but vastly different things. He wouldn’t be canceled, he would be sharing a cell with Harvey. I do suggest you read it if possible and decide for yourself if the author’s bias swayed his opinion too far off course.

I agree with Xavier that actions should have consequences and disassociating from individuals may be the best action at times. I agree that dollars speak louder than the outcry from select audiences preventing “accountability.” Performers should only be eligible for awards if they met a standard of conduct. 

I disagree with silencing unpopular opinions and provocative comedians as the right thing to do. If you disagree with me on that, I think George Carlin would famously have seven words for you that can’t be spoken on TV.