Cancel Culture–Harmful or Effective in Holding Our Fellow Celebrities Accountable?

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For those who aren’t as familiar with what cancel culture is, canceling and cancel culture have to do with the removal of support for public figures in response to their objectionable behavior or opinions (which can include boycotts or refusal to promote their work.)

In late 2018, comedian Kevin Hart publicly stated he would be hosting the 2019 Oscars; an announcement that triggered intense public scrutiny regarding homophobic jokes and tweets he had previously put forth. While the backlash against Hart came from many different directions, a majority derived from the social media platform, Twitter. Although ‘cancel culture’ is not a new phenomenon, it is evident that it was brought to the forefront of American pop culture after Hart’s “canceling,” and has continued since.

With this idea of “canceling” in mind, the question many have is whether or not canceling is harmful or effective in holding these celebrities and public figures accountable.

Last night during the Oscars, Joaquin Phoenix gave a discursive speech in which he both criticized “cancel” culture and advocated for social justice while accepting the Oscar for best actor for his performance in “The Joker.” In his speech he said,

“I have been a scoundrel all my life, I’ve been selfish. I’ve been cruel at times, hard to work with, and I’m grateful that so many of you in this room have given me a second chance,” Phoenix said. “I think that’s when we’re at our best: when we support each other. Not when we cancel each other out for our past mistakes, but when we help each other to grow. When we educate each other; when we guide each other to redemption.”

Like Joaquin, many believe that cancel culture is merely harmful to society and those individuals being “canceled,” but, according to the article on Daily Toreador, many also feel that it’s unfair that celebrities can seemingly “get away” with hurting other people or making damaging and harmful statements, even after being canceled for a little while. At the same time, however, it is both concerning and detrimental that as a society, we perpetuate a culture of simply canceling someone instead of encouraging them to be better and holding them accountable in a constructive way (similar to what Joaquin said.)

I think we can all agree that public outrage against celebrities is expected and sometimes even justified in some cases, but is it possible that sometimes cancel culture can go too far? What do you think?

 

Sources:

http://www.dailytoreador.com/opinion/opinion-what-another-hostless-oscars-says-about-cancel-culture/article_b66c13f6-4ba0-11ea-ae0d-9fe86d0364ea.html

https://www.nationalreview.com/news/joaquin-phoenix-criticizes-cancel-culture-in-oscars-acceptance-speech/

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The Commercial That Stole The Show On Football’s Biggest Night

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It’s quite evident that football’s biggest night is the perfect opportunity for companies to persuade all who are watching to utilize/buy their products through the use of captivating commercials. In saying that, this year’s Superbowl had commercials that ranged from happy, to humorous, to serious/emotional, to completely strange and seemingly pointless.

To get a professional opinion on these commercials, KDKA sat down with Shannon Baker–the president of a local ad agency to get her opinion on which spots were the winners and the losers on football’s biggest night. Baker is president of the Gatesman Agency in Pittsburgh and has 18 years of experience in the ad business (so she knows a good bit about how companies and clients can accurately convey a message that resonates with audiences and further persuades them to either adopt an idea, utilize a software, or buy a product.)

According to Baker, she believes that if you craft a story that is short, tight, and memorable, it is going to make people feel something–which is critical to the success of the commercial.

She says Google set the bar very high with its emotional “Loretta” ad, and many others would agree. Millions of people were raving about the heartfelt tearjerking ad that was based on a true story. For those who didn’t get to see the commercial, it begins with a man typing into Google “how to not forget,” and then asking his Google Assistant device to show him photos of his late wife named Loretta. The man continues to ask Google to remember certain things about her, like the fact that she hated his mustache, loved going to Alaska, and always snorted when she laughed. In the end, Google recites all of the things the man had asked the device to remember. It closed out with the man saying, “remember I’m the luckiest man in the world.”

Overall, Baker and many others believe that Google set the bar very high with their ‘Loretta’ ad because not only did it tug on the emotional heartstrings of audiences, but it also marketed the product in a simple yet compelling way.

Sources:

Pittsburgh Ad Agency Says Which Super Bowl Commercials Were The Most And Least Impressive

https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/unruly-ranks-google-tearjerker-loretta-as-the-most-effective-ad-of-super-bowl-2020/

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/a30751020/super-bowl-google-commercial-ad-true-story/

Being ‘Visible’ in the Media Has a Deeper Meaning for LGBTQ+ Individuals and Here’s Why:

Within the past decade, we have seen tremendous progress being made to accurately represent LGBTQ+ individuals in the media, but even with that progress, we still have a ways to go until representation is equal across the board.

It is evident that social media has played a huge role in the increased acceptance and representation of the LGBTQ+ community–with trans and nonbinary representation in media and fashion growing tremendously (as evidenced by the success of breakout hits such as “Drag Race” HBO’s “Euphoria,” and Netflix’s “Pose”). In saying that though, things have not always been this way. Even just 15 years ago, LGBTQ+ individuals were very much ‘invisible’ in terms of media representation–with only a few accounts of gay and lesbian characters being depicted (often times not even in accurate ways.)

However, to further shed light on this evolution of LGBTQ+ depictions on television, comedian Wanda Sykes and actor Wilson Cruz executively produced a 5-part docuseries called ‘Visible: Out on Television’ that will launch on February 14th on Apple TV Plus. Sykes and Cruz said that they created this series to act as a testament to how LGBTQ people and their allies harnessed TV to tell the community’s stories.

Best known for his roles as ‘Dennis’ in 13 Reasons Why and Dr. Hugh Culber in Star Trek: Discovery, Cruz said, “It’s through television that we got to tell the entire society and our own culture what our lives are really like. Because of that amount of authenticity, we were able to move the needle to acceptance.” With that being said, visibility in the media has a much deeper meaning for those who are apart of the LGBTQ+ community, and we as a society should push to make sure their representation (along with other marginalized groups) continues to be made apparent in the media.

 

Sources: https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/out-television-tracks-evolution-lgbtq-portrayals-n1119401

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/decade-lgbtq-pop-culture-visibility-stalled-political-progress-ncna1108786

How NBC’s Strategy For Their New Streaming Service, ‘Peacock’ Sets Them Apart From Other Streaming Services

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NBC Universal has some exciting things coming this year, with the most notable being the official launch of their new streaming service ‘Peacock.’

For those who haven’t heard of ‘Peacock,’ it’s NBC’s new streaming service that is set to launch of July 15th, 2020. ‘Peacock’ was named after the logo of NBC and is an American over-the-top subscription video on demand streaming service.

The majority of us utilize streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu to stream originals on each platform or catch up on missed shows, but did you know that ‘Peacock’ offers something that those rival companies haven’t made available yet?

NBC Universal will offer 3 different tiers for ‘Peacock,’ with the first tier being free (it will make the majority of its money from advertisements,) the second tier offering more content and only some advertising for 4.99 a month, and the final tier that will be 9.99 a month with no advertising. Although this tier system differs from that of other streaming platforms, what really sets ‘Peacock’ apart from other platforms is the fact that they don’t want consumers cancelling cable–instead, they want Peacock to be a supplement product.

In saying this, NBC Universal plans to offer ‘Peacock’ Premium for no additional charge to cable subscribers because of the fact that they don’t want you canceling cable or replacing cable. It’s evident that streaming products do have the ability to replace the cable bundle, but NBC Universal’s strategy hedges this outcome by building something that could one day operate as the company’s primary source of content distribution while also marketing it as an add-on service that’s free to many people. If this happens, the question is whether NBC Universal can turn ‘Peacock’ into a vehicle that generates more revenue-per-user than the cable bundle for the same amount of subscribers — today (while keeping costs the same or lower).