What is “Cancelled Culture”?


photo courtesy of Sarah Meadows

Seen by over 47 million people, this video entitled “Bye Sister” has done far more than simply surface the internet.

Sarah Meadows, Photojournalist

When a world where everyone is out to get each other mixes with a world that fixates its attention online, the product is something known as a “cancelled culture.” Recently, all that one hears when he/she steps foot into YLHS is the newest online influencer to be “cancelled.” Nonetheless, what does this mean?


James Charles, a popular YouTuber, who at one point had over 16 million subscribers on YouTube, lost roughly 3 million subscribers within a matter of a few days. Why, one may ask? Well, James Charles posted an ad supporting the rival company of one of his best friends, Tati Westbrook, who has publicly and privately supported him throughout his YouTube journey. Choosing money over loyalty, Tati was very upset. In response, Tati posted a 43 minute YouTube video explaining how hurt she was by James’s actions. Additionally, she decided it was time to share a side of James that she knew better than anyone else: his predatory behavior upon straight males. She thoroughly explained that that being his best friend, she has tried on several accounts to explain to him his wrongdoing. Nonetheless, she argues in her video that such explaining has done nothing. Tired of this behavior, she needed a way to get through to him. What better than a YouTube video seen by almost 50 million people? In her opinion, it had to be done. This sparked an negative outrage with many of his supporters, thus resulting in him being “cancelled.”


The idea of being “cancelled” has two distinguishable sides. On one side, people argue that regardless of one’s mistakes, he/she should always be forgiven eventually as no one is perfect. However, the other side believes that influencers signed up to be role models, meaning that their actions would be closely watched by those who look up to them. One of the cons of being “famous” is the consequences that come with making mistakes, as the whole world can share their opinion on the situation, not only fellow influencers.


It seems to be that the majority of students who share their opinion on the situation are on Tati’s side. Olivia Yerkes (10) explained, “I have been watching Tati for as long as I can remember, and I hate to see her in pain because of someone else’s mistakes.”


With every bad situation, it brings to light something good that can be taught. In this one, it is important to remember to always spread love, not hate.