Cancel culture destroys reputations

Justin+Trudeau+%28Prime+Minister%2C+Canada%29+at+NATO+Engages%3A+The+Brussels+Summit+Dialogue.
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Cancel culture destroys reputations

Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Canada) at NATO Engages: The Brussels Summit Dialogue.

Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Canada) at NATO Engages: The Brussels Summit Dialogue.

Photo Courtesy of MSC / MCI

Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Canada) at NATO Engages: The Brussels Summit Dialogue.

Photo Courtesy of MSC / MCI

Photo Courtesy of MSC / MCI

Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Canada) at NATO Engages: The Brussels Summit Dialogue.

By Neshmia Malik, Columnist

Cancel culture has become a phenomenon that aims to call out every (semi) decent celebrity figure in the media. People are all-too ready to “cancel” celebrities as soon as a questionable situation surfaces about them. With the scandals and poor reputation that accompany prominent figures, we are bound to encounter a sticky situation here and there. 

Pulling up a scandal on a reputable individual simply isn’t fair. How can we expect to hold celebrities accountable for past events that may not represent them anymore?

Some might argue it comes with the “celebrity contract.” Some argue that having a lavish lifestyle also comes with accountability, but that accountability puts celebrities on full display.

Although this judgment is up for debate, how fair is it to pull out files from the past and use them as “cancel” bait? As average people, the ability to rid our questionable pasts and start fresh comes a lot easier than it may for celebrities. 

The same privilege should be applied to celebrities because, at the end of the day, they are just as human as we are. It’s easier for the average person to rid their past of troublesome events than someone like a politician whose entire life has been thrust into the public eye. 

We are prone to undergo some sort of change in our lives, and if people like politicians have enacted positive growth in a community, that should remain the focus instead of something that took place years ago.

Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada, was pictured wearing brownface at an “Arabian Nights” party at a private school he taught at in 2001. This created a massive uproar against the Canadian PM. Being Canada’s sweetheart, Trudeau’s image was nearly destroyed with these controversial findings. 

In no way is brownface or blackface acceptable in any society, but that photo was also taken 18 years ago. Almost two decades of personal growth was undone with the power of one yearbook photo. Incidents of Trudeau’s racism from over a decade ago should not be a breaking point in loyalty to him. 

The public should focus on what Trudeau has done for the country. He is known for welcoming and embracing minorities and their cultures, as he welcomed millions of refugees with open arms. From recognizing Muslim holidays to embracing Sikh rituals, he has made an effort to welcome minorities so they don’t feel like a marginalized community. 

Not only has he made a place for minorities, but he has invested in high-quality mental health services for the public, providing attention to those that struggle with such issues. 

Current actions should speak louder than past ones, and if a prominent figure has exhibited a positive change in a community, that should remain the primary focus.

Neshmia is a sophomore in Media.

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