The process is simple - callout, corner and cancel. In the age of social media, once a celebrity is in the spotlight for committing an atrocity, it will take a miracle for him to exonerate himself.
When people, (especially) celebrities fall from the high and sometimes unrealistic pedestals that we place them on, the feeling of betrayal and disappointment is intense because it feels like everything we believed in was a lie.
From experience, I have realised that it is easier to always assume everything is a lie and be surprised when it isn't.
That's not to say I am a pessimist, I am just being realistic because as potatoes will always potate, humans will always human
I mean, it's like Drake said
(I am) The furthest thing from perfect like everyone I know
So punish the offenders if they ought to be punished. Strip them off titles and endorsements and whatnots but cancelling the artist does not mean we should cancel the artists' body of work.
In my opinion, that is one sure way of throwing the baby out with the bath water and my reason is this - The artist is NOT his art.
In cancelling an individual, we cannot deny or take back the fact that the accused has indeed, created a brilliant body of work.
Take Woody Allen for instance, he was accused by his adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow, then 7 years old, of having sexually molested her. Pedophilia is the SICKEST thing ever and my skin crawls just thinking about it.
So yeah, lock him up! Off with his head!
But this does NOT take away the fact that his filmography is epic and he created a whole lot of blockbuster movies from the 1950s till now - 2020.
Leanne Lyons one of the founding members of Sisters With Voices (SWV) said in an interview recently
When you are recognisable, it is hard to accept failure. You feel pressured to be who you think you should be, even when you don’t feel like that
We judge celebrities or popular persons more harshly than we do persons less known because no one wants to accept failure from those they hold in high esteem. We expect them to remain in a bubble of perfection, and that is not only selfish but also unrealistic.
The allegations and outrage against R.Kelly are justified because damn! That man was indeed a piece of work. He took advantage of young women in awe of him and manipulated, used and abused them. Heck! at some point he was accused of peeing on a 13year old girl for the fun of it.
I mean who does that??
Lock that man up please and throw away the key
I am so glad that he is finally facing the law and everyone now sees him for who he truly is, if not for anything but to protect our women and prevent the younger ladies from falling into his harem trap.
However, as a music head, I can not forget that in 1998 R-Kelly composed and released the grammy award winning single "I believe I can fly"
He also wrote "You are not alone" by Michael Jackson - 1996
"I don't want to" by Toni Braxton - 1996
"Fortunate" by Maxwell - 1999
"808" by Blaque - 1999
"Girlfriend" by B2k - 2002
I could go on, but I think you get the picture. R.Kelly wrote some of the biggest songs in the world. He has writer and producer credit for days and a little google search would leave you overwhelmed.
R.Kelly is a vile man but I would be a hypocrite to not mention that his 2010 duet with Celine Dion "I am your Angel" didn't get me through tough times. So if you are going to cancel Robert Kelly's art, be prepared to cancel some of the biggest songs ever!
If you grew up in the 90s, then you would have been pissed as f#$k when you found out the nasty things our favourite onscreen dad Bill Cosby got up to in real life.
Dr Huxtable was the poster dad for every black family. He was funny, he was cool and he was educative. The Bill Cosby show was something we all enjoyed and looked forward to.
But then came the allegations too crazy to ignore. I was angry and disappointed no less.
Thinking about the number of women who have to live with the shame of being manipulated, brain washed, used, abused, molested and taken advantage of by men they looked up to is sickening. It just isn't fair!
We should examine critically why these celebrities act the way they do. Why they derive so much joy in taking advantage of their positions. Perhaps it is the unlimited access to funds, drugs, women...
Or is that who they really are underneath the glitz and glamour?
We can say what we want to about Michael Jackson as well, but that man brought the M to Music. Whitney Houston too. She didn't molest or abuse anyone but she was a heavy drug user, she died from an overdose whether by suicide or by mistake. It was traumatising, shocking and disappointing to her fans all over the world. "A life wasted" we thought.
She was a beautiful soul singer, with voice smoother than satin. She was timeless. Would we then cancel her legacy because she had demons she could not face? Demons she could not fight? I don't think so.
It's like someone said on the Netflix series Hollywood.
It's not so much as the place or the person, it is really our trust in them that we feel they have betrayed.
An artist never dies and goes away, their work ensures that he or she lives forever.
I am not going to raise my kids listening to just rap and trap and gbish gbas gbos meaningless music with no soul. I consciously and actively ensure that as they get older their tacit knowledge of music is diverse and classical. But if we keep cancelling these artistes and calling for their works to be taken off platforms, we wont have any music, history, culture or originality left.
Now, this article is not to discredit the rightful admonishing of fans and the opinionated, it is indeed justifiable indignation.
But hear me out though - creativity birthed into any form is immortal, which is why I insist that the art is separate from the artist so please, let's cancel the cancel culture.