The idea of being “cancelled” has been on my mind a lot lately.
There are times when public figures do and say unspeakable things, many of which merit legal action and criminal charges. This is not a defense of those actions.
But there are also moments where someone slips up and says the wrong thing or recklessly wields their privilege, something shouldn’t merit a social and professional death sentence.
Yet, we as the mob have decided that’s the case.
The problem with cancel culture is it denies the opportunity for forgiveness and growth. By current standards, a person must conform to present social and cultural correctness, even in their past comments and behavior (i.e. James Gunn getting fired for making a joke on Twitter ten years ago). There’s a vast difference between unintended ignorance and a pattern of malevolent abuse. To treat the former as the crime is absurd.
People grow and change and learn. This is what it means to be human. It seems unjust that we refuse to allow people the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and become better than they were yesterday. We’re all so eager to prove we’re not who we used to be while judging others for their past selves. And we shouldn’t be.
Hemingway once said, “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
To my mind, we should all strive to be a little more noble.
That said, Harvey Weinstein can rot in Hell.