“Cancel Culture” With Celebrities & Social Media Has Gone Too Far

While some criticism is fair, social media users need a chance to apologize and not be led to suicide by online harassment


Ally Long, Staff Writer


“Cancel Culture” is a term used in social media to describe the fans “canceling” the celebrity for doing something wrong. This could be if the celebrity has been found saying the n-word if they are not black, or sending text messages to a minor. Yes, both of these things are awful, and should be talked about, but in most cases, the fan base takes this too far and could lead to the figure to commit suicide.

Because social media is all behind a screen, it is easier to make fun of someone, or to make horrible jokes about their appearance. 

Let’s talk about TikTok creator @emhulu. @emhulu is an eighteen year old girl who wanted to make funny content on her TikTok page. Many of Emma’s content talks about the rapper Niki Minaj, and other things going on in her life.

One day, someone found footage of Emma saying the n-word, with the hard r, and other racial slurs. This did not go over well, and hundreds of thousands of people unfollowed Emma’s page, sent her death threats, and told the 18 year old to kill herself.

Emma stood up for herself, and posted 10 different apologies for her mistakes, each receiving millions of views. For about a month, Emma took a break from the constant bullying, but came back and is still releasing content to this day. 

On a darker note, there are some cases where the “canceling” is taken too far, and leads to suicide. TikToker @Ethanisupreme was 17 years old, and an up and coming makeup artist. Ethan was openly gay, and wanted to be just as successful as the youtuber and makeup artist James Charles. Ethan’s content was similar to Emma’s, as he was just a kid trying to discover himself on social media, and make funny content along the way.

But, in 2017, Ethan was found making an instagram comment that contained the n-word, and people called him a racist, the f-slur, and many other things. At the time of this comment, Ethan was 14, and still learning right from wrong. Of course this is no excuse, and his mistake should have been addressed, which unfortunately it was not, but that cannot be a reason for what the community did. Ethan had been using different drugs such as marijuana, ketamine, vape, and other forms of drugs. Unfortunately, the TikTok canceling took it a little too far, and Ethan overdosed on pills in his home on September 5, 2020.

After the fact, the slurs stopped, and Ethan’s latest posts were covered in beautiful messages to him and his family, telling him to “rest easy” or “fly high”. 

This type of canceling has happened to so many people making mistakes in their past, and their present. One thing that people seem to not understand is that most people using apps like TikTok or instagram are children. Literal children who just want to make some friends and some funny videos to go along with it.

Kids need time to grow up, and learn from their mistakes without strangers calling them slurs and telling them to kill themselves. “Cancel culture” is extremely dangerous and should be lessened when a social media influencer makes a mistake. The fact that “cancelling” can be seen as a joke is extremely toxic as well because some jokes go way too far without it being called out on how far it has gone.

Instead of punishing someone to the breaking point, people should give information on what is right or wrong to the creator, and allow them to actually change. Many of these TikTokers are 13-20 years old, and if people keep on saying horrible things about them, how can we expect anything good to happen for these creators. This is easier said than done, but it needs to happen so that more lives can be saved in the future.