Monday’s with Ms. Marvel: cancel culture and Andrew Cuomo

In+her+weekly+column%2C+Monday+with+Ms.+Marvel%2C+Wingspans+Trisha+Dasgupta+reviews+different+political+issues+and+relatable+topics+in+everyday+life.

Morgan Kong

In her weekly column, Monday with Ms. Marvel, Wingspan’s Trisha Dasgupta reviews different political issues and relatable topics in everyday life.

Trisha Dasgupta, Editor-in-Chief

The term and concept of cancel culture have been so warped over the last couple of years that I’ve started to actively ignore discourse about the perceived merits and issues with this particular cultural phenomenon. The conversation has just devolved into a talking point that’s so removed from the reality of the issue that it’s frustrating to attempt to make any valid criticisms or points about “canceling.” 

Unfortunately, that’s what Republican politicians are banking on. 

However removed discourse about cancel culture may be, there is a very clear path for Republicans to exploit and inflate the issue of the internet’s cancel culture, a talking point that could lead to Democrats losing elections in the next campaign cycle. 

What started as a way to hold entertainers accountable for serious misconduct such as sexual assault, has become a term used to describe any cultural change that can be attributed to progressive ideas. 

The removal of certain Dr. Suess books and gendered terms from the Mr. Potatohead toy company, and other minuscule, performative, changes have been blown out of proportion by Republicans in order to propagate a false narrative of overly politically correct liberals and Democrats. It’s a calculated move to draw attention away from real issues, and it’s dangerous because it’s working

The framing of these trivial matters undermines the severity of real problems, and blaming everything on cancel culture leads the way for these real problems to be ignored or dismissed as an overreaction attributed to cancel culture. 

We’ve seen this exact situation pop up multiple times in the last year, and now perhaps the most egregious example has been New York’s Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo’s response to the several sexual assault allegations that have been filed against him. In a statement about the allegations, Cuomo stated that he would not be resigning in face of these accusations because he had no interest in “bowing down to cancel culture.” 

Republicans set the trap, and now Democrats have fallen for it. 

Calling for elected representatives to be held accountable for their actions is not cancel culture- it’s our right and responsibility as citizens. Public officials work for the people and it is incredibly dangerous to suggest that holding politicians accountable is a trivial witch hunt instead of a civic duty. 

A governor being investigated for several counts of sexual assault and harassment is not the same as independent companies correcting out-dated cultural norms in children’s toys. This is a serious investigation and the second we let politicians write off the severity of issues like these as a byproduct of a made-up internet mindset we lay the groundwork for complacency. 

We need to push back against this narrative because the mislabelling of accountability as cancel culture is irresponsible and dangerous.