Forgive or Forget Celebrities?


In light of music artist and rapper, Kanye West, continuing to surprise the public with his statements and behavior, many of his supporters are still trying to hold onto seeing his musical genius away from his problematic personality. Many of his supporters are debating whether to continue forgiving him for his actions, yet others are saying he deserves to get his platform taken. Questions of a redemption are still at large, and considering other celebrities as well. 


Celebrities are higher-status people in society categorized by their acting, music, art, etc. Considering how influential these everyday people are now and the pedestal and power they hold, their words are not taken lightly. It is in the hands of the general public to determine the career and lifestyle of celebrities, the ultimate decision whether to forgive or forget. 


“They are just people and are allowed to make mistakes, just like we would.” TOK teacher Rebecca Krshul said. “If every single person was held under the scrutiny of someone who’s in the spotlight, they might come under that spotlight. There needs to be an understanding of that pressure.”  


Celebrities have the right to freedom of speech and expression, as stated by the First Amendment, yet how they use their power and expression may be argued as crucial to pop culture. Many celebrities in the past have been confronted with their controversies such as R. Kelly, Colin Kaepernick, and Kate Moss either with criminal consequences or popularity consequences. However, there are some celebrities as well that continue to have their platforms regardless of what their controversies are such as Chris Brown, Robert Downey Jr, and more. Audiences need to consider at some point who they want to support or not support- particularly, who deserves support. 


“There’s a gray area, people pick and choose who they want to support or cancel,” Junior Brianna Torrez said. “If someone is really well known and liked, people will choose to dismiss their actions. But, if someone who isn’t that popular says something even small, they automatically get canceled because of people’s bias.”


Currently, cancel culture determines the outcome of celebrities’ and influencers’ careers. It is a new term that recently has become prominent in society’s multi-media age, where if a person has done or said something questionable, the public is entitled to their opinions to collectively support or “cancel” that person. Cancel culture can be as minor as losing supporters, to as extreme as losing career-changing opportunities. 


“It [cancel culture] is the idea that you should always be perfect,” Senior Luke Hanson said. “Even if you mess up once or have a problematic moment, cancel culture will make you irrelevant and erased from the media essentially.” 


When celebrities are put under fire for what they’ve said or done, it raises the ethical dilemma to the public of an appropriate time they can be forgiven or fully forgotten. Some believe many celebrities deserve forgiveness because their controversies are not necessarily on the same scale as compared to others, while others say that some are unforgivable. 


“I think forgiving should be in every situation, but forgiving should not be forgetting.” Hanson said. “If we forget about what happened with certain people, they’re going to fall into the same exact patterns, which should not be forgiven if they keep doing these wrong things.”


For more information about Kanye West’s recent controversy please visit: