The Problems With Cancel Culture And Popular YouTubers

How Cancel Culture has grown to impact these influencers socially, mentally, and physically.

As time goes on, people have come to all kinds of realizations that the things we did in the past were not okay, and still are not. It may have seemed acceptable at the time, but that doesn't change the fact that it was wrong.

When people become aware of these wrongdoings, it makes sense to acknowledge they were wrong and take personal responsibility for them. That way, people can be more mindful about what they say and do, being careful not to offend anyone.

Cancel Culture takes personal responsibility to a whole new level. Not only do people want the wrongdoer to understand why their words or actions were offensive, but they also stop engaging with the wrongdoer at all and encourage others to follow along.

What is Cancel Culture?

Cancel Culture is an aggressive form of boycotting a person or organization for their misdeed, as a method of holding them accountable for their actions. In cancel culture, there is typically no way for the wrongdoer to obtain redemption after being canceled. 

Why is Cancel Culture Bad?

Although cancel culture can find important situations that need to be addressed, the results of canceling someone can be detrimental to their mental, emotional, and physical health.

When an influencer gets canceled, many companies, brands, and people they've worked with will cut ties with them. The influencer becomes ostracized because little to no people will want to be associated with them due to the negative spotlight the influencer received.

After getting canceled and suffering from a faltering career, an influencer will face tremendous stress, anxiety, and depression, as per the research by Dr. Becky Spelman from Private Therapy Clinic. They become overwhelmed by the amount of hate thrown at them because of their wrongdoings. Each canceled person handles their cancelation differently by either publicly addressing the issues or taking a break from the internet.

Canceled YouTubers and Their Responses

A bunch of YouTubers especially have been canceled over the last couple of years, and that has greatly affected their entire lives.

Here are a few well-known canceled YouTubers who have been severely impacted by cancel culture:

how Shane's disappeared from the internet after being cancelled
Image Source: Shane Dawson (@shanedawson) | Twitter

Shane Dawson

Shane Dawson is an OG YouTuber currently known for his various documentary series. However, Shane didn't always post this type of content to his channel. For years, Shane made parody videos, dressed up as unique characters he developed himself, and overall had a dark, crude sense of humor.

In 2020, the people of the internet found Shane's old videos and noticed the inappropriate material used within them. A joke that Shane made years ago about having sexual relations with his cat sparked a lot of controversies. After that blew up, people also discovered that many of Shane's old videos had racist jokes in them. Shane began receiving so much hate on the internet, that he left the internet entirely.

Before Shane went offline, he posted his last video on his channel called "Taking Accountability," where he apologizes for his words and actions from the past.

He recognized that he was wrong and he accidentally hurt people. It didn't seem like too many people accepted his apologies, though.

Shane didn't post on any social media accounts for a year. Slowly over the last few months, he's made a steady reappearance. He's also stated in his Instagram stories that he's trying to feel comfortable being on the internet again and has been taking the time to work on himself.

He mentioned that his depression worsened, and he was in a dark place for a long time. Now, he feels a lot better after going dark for a while but still has to work on growing as an individual.

Jeffree's altering his lifestyle after cancellation
Image Source: Glossy

Jeffree Star

Jeffree Star is a beauty guru that has been involved in a lot of internet drama over the years, including drama with Shane Dawson.

Jeffree has acknowledged multiple times that his past is ugly and he's done terrible things. One example from Jeffree's past is his old brand website called "Lipstick Nazi." He realized that was offensive and has since apologized for that mistake.

In one of Jeffree's videos from 2020, "Doing What's Right," he briefly addressed a few issues that were relevant at the time and apologized for his behavior.

Jeffree mentioned that he didn't want to be a tea-spiller anymore or continue to expose other YouTubers, pulling out the receipts. Jeffree said he has been self-reflecting and will continue to become the best version of himself that he can be.

Jeffree did not leave the internet, but rather explained that he was moving on from his old identity to become a better person now.

Jenna Marbles left the internet after cancelling herself
Image Source: Distractify


Jenna (Mourey) Marbles is another OG YouTuber who made videos where she did silly crafts, played with her dogs, and just tried to have fun doing whatever she wanted. Everything seemed okay for Jenna until she abruptly posted her last video.

Jenna's circumstances are unique from others who have been canceled. JennaMarbles canceled herself.

Just before leaving the internet, Jenna posted one last video (which has since been deleted) expressing how she received hate comments about her old videos. She then showed examples from her old videos, posted about 10 years ago, where she's made fun of women who slept around, and unintentionally did "black face" in a Nicki Minaj impression video.

Jenna felt very embarrassed and remorseful for her past content. She also said that she never meant to ever hurt anyone's feelings. Jenna continued by saying she's just another human trying to navigate life the same way anyone else would, learning from previously ignorant behaviors and trying to grow as a mature person.

She didn't know if she would just be taking a break from the JennaMarbles channel or if this was goodbye forever. Jenna has not been seen on the internet since then, over a year ago.

James Charles' is cancelled multiple times
Image Source: Teen Vogue

James Charles

James Charles is another beauty influencer on YouTube who's received backlash for his actions.

One big issue that James needed to take responsibility for was the speculation that he had been grooming underaged minors. James made a video (which was deleted) called "Holding Myself Accountable," where he goes more in-depth about the situation.

James took a break from social media and returned to YouTube with the video called "An Open Conversation."

He opened up about his feelings regarding the minor grooming accusations. James explained that these stories were false, but admitted that some of his actions were inappropriate. He also shared the personal progress he has made throughout his time reflecting.

The Result of Hate

Hate is a powerful and contagious emotion. In a thesis written by Mallory Whitson of Ouachita Baptist University, she described Cancel Culture as hostile mob psychology. Cancel Culture has not only become a promotion to spread negativity but also shames anyone from showing empathy towards the wrongdoer.

While it is necessary to take personal accountability for any sort of incident that occurs, it's important to remember that we are only human. Everyone is doing the best they can with the prevailing awareness they have at the time. People are inevitably going to mess up. What matters most is that people become aware of why their words or actions were wrong, and learn from those incidents.

These YouTubers faced immense hate and cruelty for their old behaviors. This caused an overwhelming amount of stress, anxiety, disappointment, worsened depression, and more for these influencers. Some YouTubers were so affected by the hate they received that they had to step away from social media entirely, and a couple of YouTubers still haven't returned.

Approaching Mistakes with Kindness

Words do make an impact on others. People must be held responsible, however, these kinds of conversations need to be mature and respectful. As fans, people want YouTubers to be good role models. Fans or otherwise still need to understand that YouTubers are imperfect human beings, just like the rest of us.

Everyone is still learning every day how to be a decent person. It takes time. It takes patience. It takes falling, getting back up, and understanding how to not fall back down again.

Please treat people with kindness. While we're not all on the same paths of life, we all have the same expectations to follow. No one is above or below anyone. We are all continuing to learn wrong from right.

The next time you hear about a mistake someone made, an influencer or a close friend, think twice before immediately sending hate and canceling them outright. It could have worse results than you'd think.

23 | uni graduate | aspiring author | overthinker | theatre kid

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