We've all seen the news over the past few days. We all know who James Charles & Tati Westbrook are and what they've done. I'm not going to sit here and attempt to a) re-tell this drama or b) persuade you to think one way or another, but rather to direct you towards the bigger picture.
To be 'canceled' is, essentially, "used like a massive, informal boycott when someone or something in the public eye offends ...or when we're just over them." For instance, after Olivia Jade and her family were caught up in the college admissions scandal? #Canceled. Comedian Louis C.K admitting to sexual harassment? #Canceled. Jussie Smollet faking a racially-charged attack? #Canceled. Ironically, both Roseanne Barr and her show Roseanne were #Canceled. Lol. You get the point?
But what exactly is the criteria for cancelation? Many other celebrities have hit rock bottom in the past and managed to climb their way back to the top unscathed, but why have these celebs reached the point of no return? Take Kanye for example: he openly supports President Trump, he's called slavery "a choice," he's been discriminatory towards the handicapped, he speaks irrationally and radically on Twitter, that whole Taylor Swift debacle — the list goes on. At the time, these events seemed pretty serious with Twitter users commenting, "He is not a free thinker. He is a free moron who doesn't read." and thousands of others unfollowing the celebrity on all social media platforms. However, "West hasn't entirely been canceled. He's still afforded a platform, power, a voice." Despite each knockdown, he's managed to scrape himself back off the ground and project his redeemable qualities of being family-oriented, humorous, and a decent musical artist.
The same goes for Jordyn Woods. People were so quick to "cancel" her after the cheating scandal with Tristan Thompson. The internet quite literally exploded days after the news broke with memes, nasty comments, and photos just dragging her entire existence. Shockingly, after an interview with Jada Pinkett Smith where she revealed her side of the story (playing the victim card), the world was suddenly empathetic?? In less than a week, the narrative was flipped and audiences were running to her defense saying, "It wasn't her fault" and "How brave of her to share her story." Now, Jordyn claims to be happier than ever, thriving within her modeling career and clothing line.
Again, I ask, what allows some people to bounce back from life-altering scandals while others have no chance to redeem themselves? Is it a legality thing? Does age, race, or gender play a part in it? As media gatekeepers, the fate of these celebrities is quite literally in our hands. We decide whose career/life gets ruined, whose issues are worth overlooking, who deserves to be publicly shamed, etc. We must remember that these celebrities are people, too. They have families, feelings, children, personal lives that don't involve the outside world. Rather than "canceling" someone, why don't we re-direct them towards the truth or encourage that they seek help? We can still continue the conversation and acknowledge that what these individuals have done is wrong without spewing negativity online. It's 2019 — let's do better and let's be better.