Controversy in American pop culture


     With a simple scroll on just about any social media site, it’s nearly impossible to go without seeing a news segment from a digital media company or an amateur reporter that focuses entirely on pop culture and celebrities. These influential platforms often “call out” or highlight the questionable decisions and actions of prominent individuals in American society. Whether someone is being the confronted with proof of discrimination and prejudice, or just being criticized for a poor parenting choice, modern pop culture is infused with an obsession with controversy and has been for a very long time.

     There seems to be two types of backlash for people in the public eye: people are called out for rightful reasons and questionable ones. 

     In our modern society, there are actions and beliefs that are intolerable and usually culminate in repercussions. These repercussions have come to be known as “cancel culture.” It can range from fans boycotting celebrities’ media and products to going as far as getting them blacklisted from their line of work. While some individuals are rightfully “cancelled” there is a lot of gray area in which people disagree on whether or not an action is severe enough for them to be blacklisted from popular culture. In the past, people have been criticized and “cancelled” for aggressive actions like assault, homophobia, racism, religious discrimination, using slurs, etc. These actions are rightfully punished, as discriminatory behavior and violence are taken more serious today than ever before. Individuals in the public eye set examples for the general public, and setting a negative example is not something that American consumers take lightly. 

     There are some instances, however, in which people are condemned for the strangest things. For instance, celebrity moms are always the topic of controversy in their comment sections and on blogs for questionable parenting decisions. The amount of hate that social media sensation Kylie Jenner received after spending around $100,000 on her daughter’s second birthday party was immense. While abuse, neglect and mistreatment are always reasons for the denouncing of a celebrity, spoiling children isn’t. There are more important issues to be addressed in American pop culture than how a wealthy mother chooses to dress, treat and parent her children. 

     American consumers can sometimes be too quick to judge those in the public eye, but “cancel culture” can be helpful if used correctly. It could be utilized to prevent people undeserving of a worldwide platform from keeping one. It greatly regulates harmful individuals out of pop culture and provides better role models for young people in media and general society. People shouldn’t be attacked because of subjective faults, but for truly hateful and offensive behavior.