Fall 2021

Music artists targeted as part of cancel culture

Manuel Muniz

Staff Writer

“Cancel culture” has been around since social media became a prominent part of our everyday lives. 

There is not a day that someone is not getting cancelled over something ridiculous. But sometimes the cancelling is warranted. 

Americans, more than anyone, seem to almost enjoy “cancelling” famous artists, whether it is deserved or not. At the same time, it seems that the “cancelling” only lasts a couple of days and sometimes mere hours. But the question is, should we stop playing the music of these artists when they mess up? 

In Latin America, “cancelling” is hardly a thing, though many could argue a lot of musicians deserve it. Let’s take Mexican singer-songwriter Juan Gabriel, for example. “El Divo de Juarez,” which he is sometimes referred to as, likely is one of the most important musicians, not only in Mexico but across all of Latin America. Having sold 60 million records worldwide, Juan Gabriel was among Latin America’s best-selling artists before his death in 2016.

 His road to stardom wasn’t without controversy. In 2010, he was accused of sexual abuse by then 15-year-old Juan Carlos Garcia in the 1980s.  Juan Gabriel was known to be attracted to younger men, so this accusation wasn’t farfetched, and Juan Gabriel and his team hardly gave it any attention, only releasing a statement denying the claims. It seemed the general public believed Juan Gabriel and didn’t even question the truthfulness of his statement. 

Even today, you can hardly find articles on the topic. It is like it never happened. Mind you this happened in 2010, and the “Me Too” movement wasn’t around. But most Latinos know who he is and consider him a “Pop Icon.” They wouldn’t even dare “cancel” him. 

Unlike Latin America, the USA loves to “cancel” people. The only problem is that they seem to easily forget about it. Consider international superstar Justin Bieber, country superstar Morgan Wallen and popstar Lil Nas X. These three artists have been caught in controversy lately, from surfacing racist videos and claims of pedophilia. All three were rightfully “cancelled” at the time.

  The only issue being Americans seemed to have forgotten overnight as Lil Nas X currently holds the number three song in the country with his single, “Industry Baby.” Also, Justin Bieber has three songs in the top 40, and Morgan Wallen broke the Billboard 200 record for most weeks (10) at number one with his album “Dangerous,” which as of now, has been inside the top 10,for almost 45 weeks. 

So, what gives? Most Americans are adamant that American culture is changing, and that racism and inequality will no longer be tolerated. Yet these three are topping the charts. 

Wallen and Bieber have videos saying racist slurs, and Nas has posted derogatory tweets towards, Arabs and Muslim community, and recently has been linked to pedophilia. 

photo//getty images

The “cancel culture” is quite complex, if you ask me. I have absolutely no issue with cancelling artists such as Bieber, Wallen or Nas. I do not have an emotional connection with their music. The music they create isn’t necessarily bad. but I’m not a “stan” as people like to put it. 

On the other hand, I am a Juan Gabriel fan, so “cancelling” him means “cancelling” the music I listened to as a child, which is quite hard to do. It is very hypocritical of me, because all four have done wrong. But I would have an extremely harder time not listening to Juan Gabriel versus the other three. “Cancel culture” does not seem to be going anywhere any time soon, it keeps artists’ on their toes, and holds them accountable for their wrong doings. 

Categories: Fall 2021, Opinion

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