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Inside Beat

While some claim cancel culture ruins careers, many celebrities' success says otherwise

Celebrities like Ansel Elgort get exciting casting news and appearances at the Met Gala despite their list of transgressions. What does that say about cancel culture? – Photo by Ansel Elgort / Instagram

Regardless of the popularized “cancel culture” that seems to plague our debates nowadays, celebrities who are deemed cancel-worthy are getting away with their criminal allegations — and still leading thriving careers.

When they're brushed off as merely “problematic,” many celebs see no faltering in their plentiful opportunities. They're ultimately not being held accountable for their actions.

Lots of people claim that cancel culture is the youth’s scheme to end someone’s career over little mistakes that don’t deserve the backlash. Although this can occur, a majority of the time the cancellation is deserved. 

But despite millennials' and Generation Z’s attempts to end the bad behavior of people in the public eye, Hollywood seems to make excuses for unlawful done made by the rich and powerful, usually in order to make themselves look better as a whole.

Most recently, Ansel Elgort, the star of the 2014 movie "The Fault in Our Stars" and the newest adaptation of the "West Side Story" from 2021, was accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl back in 2014 when he was 20. She came out with the allegations through Twitter in 2020 and was ultimately the catalyst for many other women to come forward with their stories of Elgort.

The public was provided screenshots and evidence from all the women accusing Elgot, and they started to unveil a pattern in which he found underage fans that were captivated with him and took advantage of them. 

Once all this information had come to light the internet went berserk on Elgort, essentially shunning him off the internet and officially “canceling him.” Elgort’s actions were undeniable to the public yet there was no official investigation against him by the police or any other law authority.

By this time, the filming of "West Side Story" had already wrapped and was fully in the works of production and editing. The promotional shots were taken, and there supposedly was no going back in casting someone else in the role so late in the process.

Although this can be a controversial choice due to what happened with Tig Notaro replacing Chris D’elia last minute. After sexual misconduct allegations surfaced, Notaro replaced him in the movie “Army of the Dead.” The director, Zack Snyder, made the speedy decision to digitally sub D’elia out of the movie. 

In 2021, "West Side Story" came out and was a huge success. Elgort was still invited to all the premiers, appeared in press interviews and even posted a picture holding hands with all the other cast members in accomplishment. 

Elgort seemingly moved on from the allegations despite the lingering questions regarding his guilt. Even though there was much rage regarding his accusations, ultimately his cancellation has withered away over time despite the well-supported allegations against him.

More recently, Elgort was cast in the recently renewed "Tokyo Vice" on HBO Max.

Hollywood not only ignored the claims against Elgort but also actively hid him from any kind of repercussion. Making excuses to keep him in the film, still nominating his film for the Oscars and allowing him to attend premieres and be in promotion for the film all show the allowance that celebrities get in order to protect Hollywood’s image.

Beauty influencer James Charles, similarly to Elgort, was the subject of allegations surrounding him sending nudes as well as having flirtatious conversations with underage fans on Snapchat. Charles defended himself avidly, claiming he had no idea they were underage and made excuses that he was just lonely and inexperienced in the dating world.

The internet began a tirade of criticism against Charles and mocked his excuses as laughable. Many fans retorted that it was Charles’ job as an adult and influencer to find out these boys’ ages.

But again, Charles didn’t seem to suffer the consequences of his alleged actions as he still has 24 million subscribers on YouTube. Charles still makes collaborations with other well-known celebrities and didn't suffer legal penalties. 

But many other influencers aren't unfamiliar with cancellations over criminal acts. David Dobrik, another YouTube star with 18.2 million subscribers, was allegedly complicit in the sexual assault of a woman by his friend.

Not only does Dobrik have accusations against himself and a reputation of creating an unsafe culture for women he promotes, but fans also quickly found video evidence of Dobrik jeering his friend to have sex with the woman as well as being in the other room before and after the alleged assault.

Dobrik subsequently made an apology video where he, like Charles, made excuses for his and his friend's actions, claiming a complete lack of awareness of the situation.

The internet electronically screamed at Dobrik to take accountability for his actions, but instead, Dobrik returned normally to the internet sometime after and began amassing the same amount of views and popularity he had before the allegations.

Many larger-scale influencer stars like the Kardashian sisters have always been what the internet calls problematic. The Kardashian clan has been insensitive, rude and oblivious to the precedent that they set for their devoted fans.

From appropriating Black culture to setting an impossible standard for feminine beauty, the Kardashians have had their fair share of cancel-worthy mistakes.

Many fans take notice of their questionable behavior but don’t do anything about it. The Kardashians are one of the richest and most famous celebrity families in the world. It seems like no matter what they do, they will always thrive in the limelight.

Hollywood has tried to repair the mistakes of protecting celebrities from accountability in the past. Ellen DeGeneres, host of the celebrity interview show “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” was canceled due to many ex-employees asserting that DeGeneres was a nightmare to work with.

On Twitter, employees alleged that she almost got someone fired from her serving job over chipped nail polish, would pick one person on her staff to be mean to every day, was overly sensitive to jokes involving animals and wouldn’t let employees eat meat when she was around. 

Fellow celebrities still attempted to keep her image intact by attending as guests on her show, despite the accusations of DeGeneres being a terrible person. Despite the attempts of these celebrities to fix DeGeneres’ public persona, NBC canceled DeGeneres' show, and it finally ended earlier this year.

As you can see, with everyone from alleged abusers to problematic influencers and talk show hosts, each time a celebrity needs to be held accountable, it doesn't happen. The public vilifies the deserving target for a short period of time before they move on to the next.

In Hollywood, many people just move on to the next thing to be enraged about — and completely forget to continue to hold other celebrities accountable. 

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