Redemption for People Who Have Been Canceled Is Not a Priority
The consequences for individuals who did bad things should not be the focus. Justice for past victims and avoiding future victimizations is more important.
Dec 4, 2020Updated 2 months ago
The first priority is justice for the victims. It is integral to a free and equal democracy.
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Justice for victims needs to lead any solution to the problems of harassment, assault, and other crimes.
Too often the focus of any crime is put on the part of the perpetrator. One need only look to the way that serial killers such as Ted Bundy or the Night Stalker become celebrities.
Their victims however, are often forgotten. Many people may have heard of the assault cases involving Bill Cosby or Roman Polanski, but few could name even a single one of their victims.
Making victims feel safe should be the number one priority. Additionally, doing work on the policy and legislation level—or even through the media if traditional channels fail—are all part of giving survivors the justice that they deserve.
Justice, in the media or even online, can teach potential perpetrators not to act on their urges. Cancel culture can serve as a deterrent for future wrongdoing.
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For instance, filmmaker Roman Polanski may have escaped jail time for assaulting a child, but he has been able to suffer social and career fallout. He is barred from setting foot on American soil unless he wants to face his sentencing, in a move that could serve as a warning for other would-be pedophiles.
So-called "cancel culture" can also sometimes lead to more traditional forms of justice. The allegations against Harvey Weinstein started off as a "whisper network" before they would become the legal case that landed the producer in jail. Both cases sparked conversation around the problems of sexual misconduct in Hollywood and may have deterred other predators.
Another example of cancel culture causing a reckoning. within an industry and potentially deterring future perpetrators is the case of Louis C.K. Five different women accused the comedian of sexual misconduct, over a period of time that stretches back more than 15 years. Dana Min Goodman, Julia Wolov, Abby Schachner, and Rebecca Corry are just a few of the female comedians who alleged that C.K. masturbated in front of them.
The allegations against C.K. triggered a much broader reckoning within the comedy community around harassment and assault, possibly scaring away other potential perpetrators from taking part in similar behavior.. The focus should remain on how to prevent like-minded individuals from carrying out similar wrongdoing, and cancel culture can be a part of that.
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