Saturday Night Live fired their newly added cast member, Shane Gillis, for mimicking Chinese accents and calling Asian American entrepreneur Andrew Yang a racial slur Sept. 16.
Gillis quickly tweeted out explaining his willingness to apologize to anyone he offended in the past if they wanted him to. “I’m happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I said,” Gillis said.
In response to Gillis’ tweet, Yang said he was willing to talk with Gillis and that he didn’t believe Gillis should be fired.
“For the record, I do not think he should lose his job,” Yang said. “We would benefit from being more forgiving rather than punitive. We are all human.”
Despite Yang’s defence of Gillis and Gillis’ apology, Twitter users were fast to type out tweets “cancelling” him.
This “cancel culture” isn’t specific to Gillis. Social media users jump at the call to cancel someone anytime a notable person faces an accusation, even when all the pieces of the story aren’t there.
Cancel culture also fails to educate the offender about what they did wrong. Rather than helping them understand the issue or allowing them to reconcile and makeup for what they did, it cuts them off, forcing them under the radar -- solving nothing.
Another recent example is the NFL player Antonio Brown. Britney Taylor, former trainer of Brown, accused Brown of sexual assault and rape Sept. 10, according to Sports Illustrated.
Fans and other users on platforms such as Twitter cancelled Brown within minutes of the news breaking. The day after the accusation, videos of Brown and Taylor in bed together were leaked online showing that at one point a consensual relationship existed between them, potentially proving his innocence.
Since the first accusation, a second woman has made an accusation against Brown, and the story has continued to develop.
However, followers of the issue continue to cancel Brown despite not knowing the full story.
Regardless of if Brown is found guilty, cancel culture needs to go away. It mishandles issues and results in a myriad of problems.
Right off the bat, canceling someone is ignorant. In order to properly understand if someone is guilty, the full story needs to be told; otherwise, conclusions are made without each piece of information being considered.
The resulting problem is the inability to identify who is actually in need of criticism and who isn’t. What’s left is a whirlpool of toxicity that’s not solving the issues that need solving.
Those who aren’t guilty are also impacted, oftentimes facing a ruined career over something they didn’t do. This adds its own fuel to the fire, leading to misunderstandings and unnecessary hostility.
Instead of contributing to cancel culture the next time someone faces an accusation, people should wait for light to shine on the whole story. By waiting to cancel someone, the full story can be told, leading to a conclusion of whether the person in question is guilty or innocent.
Next time someone is being accused, instead of cancelling them, cancel your plans to cancel them and wait for the full story.