How Cancel Culture has (inadvertently) created a Force of Positivity
There has been a growing trend on Twitter over the last few years, where a small group of angry, ill-informed people go out of their way to cause financial and reputational harm to creators. They slander their names online, contact their places of work to get them fired, flag their content online in bad faith, or even write articles and blog posts filled with slander, lies, and contain bad sources (if any are even provided.) This social behavior has been dubbed as "Cancel Culture." What ultimately lies underneath the outbursts in these people may require years of psychology to fully understand. However, a much more impressive phenomena has emerged on social media. The internet community has been rallying together to combat this culture by spreading positivity. Instead of harassing these creators by threatening businesses, these kind and just-hearted folks reach out to their businesses and give in a respectable, good word, as well as share their positive experiences with them. They've made many posts on Twitter, and spread hashtags to counter this negative mob, working to voice their support for their favorite creators. The momentum may have ramped up with #IStandWithVic back in the beginning of 2019, where prominent voice actor Vic Mignonga was removed from both Funimation and Roosterteeth, lost convention appearances, and was burdened with an unjust level of guilt over allegations that, to this day, have never been proven.
When word spread, Vic's fanbase rallied to his support with the aforementioned hash tag, even catching wind of a "Whiskey Drinking Lawyer" named Nick Rekita providing tangible support through a GoFundMe made to defend Vic's right to work in an industry he spend two decades in. As a result, he's been recovering his appearances at conventions, bringing in outstandingly huge crowds each time.
However, an older battle was started with a similar GoFundMe, created by a prominent Comics Gate founder, Ethan Van Sciver for a comic artist who was "Canceled" from trying to create and publish his own comic.
More and more examples are popping up by the day in the year 2020, now with a famous manga artist known for the creation of "My Hero Academia," Kohei Horikoshi, in which he was vilified for merely naming a character "poorly," and having some of his characters sharing birthdays coincidentally with that of fascists. Fans of the anime community started spreading #WeSupportYouHorikoshi to encourage him to continue making his amazing manga, and encourage it's anime production. YouTuber HeroHei does a great job covering this story.
It is a natural habit of seeking out justice (one can argue that this sense of justice is what started "Cancel Culture" in the first place, no matter how delusional it may seem.) By creating a positive force on the internet, various fandom communities are providing great assistance to those who are wrongfully being targeted by hate mobs. Since we recently seen a "Cancel Culture" attempt on the recently released Sonic film, as well as on actor Jim Carey, for a flirtatious comment in his recent interview, will we yet see another positive wave (and a supporting hashtag) to counter the 'haters?' Youtube Yellow Flash has an informed take on his example.
However, Jim Carey isn't the first Hollywood actor who was targeted. Actor Johnny Depp lost a role for Disney's new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie over allegations of abuse made by Amber Herd. Recently, audio has been leaked out proving that his wife was the real abuser. #JusticeForJohnnyDepp kicked off once the proof was revealed. It is unfortunate that mere allegations tarnished his reputation and his career, and it took him a lot of effort to clear his name. (What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty?). The Quartering does a fantastic job covering his situation and exposing the abusive relationship for what it is, as well as pushing for genuine justice.
It's important for us to continue showing positive support for our favorite creators and creations. One day, your favorite show, movie, comic, book, or music may be targeted by this "Cancel Culture." In the past, it has previously costed jobs and horrifically stunted growth of its creators. It is your duty to bring a positive light, and stand up in the face of the detractors. The internet has become a scary place, but with your help, you can make it a safe and encouraging place for others to share their works, and succeed in an otherwise turbulent climate.