Every time I go to the movies, it’s hard not to recognize at least a couple actors that society has deemed ‘canceled.’
Gal Gadot is canceled, Aziz Ansari is canceled, Chris Evans is canceled — the list goes on.
While there is some good that has come out of canceling celebrities, like the termination of John Lasseter’s career after he was exposed as a serial sexual harasser, there also seems to be a toxic side to the movement.
Cancel culture started in about late 2000s when social media started ramping up with websites like Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Much needed conversations about serious issues on racism, bigotry and sexually predatory behavior started popping up all over the web and woke, or staying conscious toward the problems in our society, became a trend.
Along with this trend of being woke came the calling out of celebrities who said or involved themselves in anything to the contrary. This began to escalate into what cancel culture is today — a never ending cycle of calling out celebrities and shaming anyone who decides to still support them.
James Gunn, the director and writer of “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” is a prime example of this when he came under fire for his 2009 tweets in which he joked about pedophilia and rape.
Gunn issued an apology saying that he wasn’t that person anymore and that he understood the repercussions of his actions, but the backlash was so bad that Disney was forced to fire him immediately in order to keep up the company’s integrity.
After almost a year of negotiations and anguish for Gunn and the actors involved with the “Guardians of the Galaxy” series, Disney decided to hire him back — which really got some people thinking.
Should people have to suffer an eternal exile from the community just because of something they said 10 years ago? If they’re not abusing or harming others, can’t people learn from their mistakes? If Disney can forgive Gunn, shouldn’t we forgive him too?
While it is important to speak on sensitive issues and educate others, it’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate how we participate in cancel culture. Learning and growing from our mistakes is an essential part of the human experience. How are we ever going to get any better as a society if we don’t allow each other to do so?