Even though it seems like everyone in the media is piling on to cancel people with opinions they don’t like, some in Hollywood are noticing that perhaps ostracizing or shaming people with different opinions isn’t the most constructive thing for peace and harmony on planet earth.
Instead of pushing for waterboarding people with the Black Lives Matter kool-aid, Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s daughter, Willow, critiqued cancel culture during the latest episode of her family’s social commentary internet show, Red Table Talk.
During the Friday, June 19, or “Juneteenth” episode, the daughter of the Hollywood power couple wondered aloud if “cancel culture,” as it’s referred to online, is hampering discourse rather than helping. The obvious answer for us is, “no duh!” although it is nice to see that in an industry characterized by political groupthink, there are some people questioning the value of shutting people up when they disagree with their ideas.
Speaking with her mother, Jada, her grandmother, and civil rights activists Tamika Mallory and Angela Davis, the 19-year-old actress and model broached what’s so negative about cancel culture.
Jada prompted the conversation, saying, “Let’s talk about cancel culture,” and Willow jumped right in. “That is so prevalent right now,” she exclaimed, adding, “I’m seeing people shaming others, like saying really terrible things, shaming people for what they’re choosing to say, or shaming people for not saying anything at all.”
As recent events, like the Black Lives Matter protests, have shown, many people on social media haven’t been taking too kindly to people disagreeing or voicing a different opinion about the far left movement. Some have even gone so far as to insinuate that people not saying anything at all is tantamount to actual violence. “Silence is violence” pretty much sums up exactly what Willow meant when she mentioned “shaming people for not saying anything at all."
Though many of her Hollywood colleagues are pushing the cancel culture agenda against conservative views, for example, or things that remind them of racism, like statues of Confederate soldiers, Willow seemed determined to move past that sort of infantile thinking. She claimed, “If we really want change, shaming doesn’t lead to learning.” Considering the current political climate, you’re not going to encourage folks to think about police brutality when your talking points generalize that all white people are blind to racism.
Smith’s common sense attitude on the subject moved Tamika Mallory to admit that “Cancel culture is a little dangerous.” She elaborated, saying, “It definitely is because none of us are perfect. I’ve been cancelled.” Willow’s mother chimed in, “I’m expected to be cancelled at some point.”
Mallory admitted that the idea of cancelling someone is difficult because you “do have to leave people room to make mistakes, to grow and to learn." Well, here's to hoping that Mallory considers her support of anti-semite and black supremacist extraordinaire Louis Farrakhan to be one of those "mistakes." We'll give her room to denounce it, of course.
Dr. Angela Davis chimed in, focusing her critique on social media debates. She claimed, “The tendency to shortcut everything and to assume that everybody has to know everything already, you know, what about the conversation?” Though that seems pretty open-minded and moderate for the woman who ran for vice president as a member of the American Communist Party in 1980, was on the FBI's most wanted list in the 70s and who views the violence-prone Black Lives Matter "protests" as solution or action against America's "racial capitalism." Hey as long as she's willing to have a conversation on how whacko her views are, maybe there is some rationality with these people.
If more of the Hollywood crowd were interested in the conversation rather than just condemning conservative folks’ voting preferences, perhaps things wouldn’t be as polarized as they are. Though with folks like Mallory and Davis running the conversation from the BLM side of things, maybe that's a bit hopeful.