Brendon Urie's Comments About Cancel Culture Are Getting Some Heat Online
10 July 2018, 17:10
"I love Brendon Urie but I also really need him to educate himself on topics like racism if he's gonna talk about them"
Brendon Urie's recent coming out as pansexual in an interview with Paper magazine made headlines all over the internet but in a snake-eating-its-own-head move people are now calling for Brendon to be cancelled after he made some problematic comments about, er, cancel culture in the very same interview.
Cancel culture can be loosely described as when a group of people on the internet agree not to support a person in order to deprive them of their income by boycotting them or shaming companies and individuals associated with them to sever their ties.
It's become a powerful tool on social media in bringing a person down who's done something morally reprehensible - think Kevin Spacey or Logan Paul - but it's not perfect. While the aforementioned are clear examples wrongdoing, not all situations are as easy to categorise or are worthy of being 'cancelled'. For example, if someone tweets a bad, ill-informed opinion of something. Where is the line between accepting an apology and/or educating them or cancelling the person completely?
It's obviously a topic on Brendon's mind. After he spoke about the #MeToo movement and his frustration that more men don't speak up about those who are abusive, Brendon was then asked if he is "behind cancel culture". This is what he said in response:
"Here's where I draw the line. If the liberals are saying, "Hey why are you fining these NFL players [for kneeling during the anthem]?" and at the same time, "Fire Roseanne!," they are doing the exact same thing that the conservatives are doing. I get it but we have to understand, yes, Roseanne made the worst tweet. But we're taking people's careers away. I don't know where to draw the line because I do think obviously that's horrible, but I think we need to look at patterns. If a person says something a few times but they are not acting out on it... it's a very sticky situation."
ABC recently canceled Roseanne Barr's show over a racist tweet she sent about a former Obama advisor. However, the actress also has a long running history of problematic tweets, especially when it comes to race (although Barr blamed the latest tweet on medication she was taking). In contrast, the NFL owners have issued new guidelines that will see teams fined if their players or staff do not show appropriate “respect” for the national anthem. Comparing the two situations doesn't really make sense - one side has a history of being deeply racist and offensive, while the other side were protesting against police brutality.
Some people are really not happy about it.
brendon urie really opened his big ass mouth about "cancel culture" n ended up getting cancelled himself pic.twitter.com/6Ub8MXBhF6— snimi (@brankbocean) July 9, 2018
i love brendon urie but i also really need him to educate himself on topics like racism if he's gonna talk about them... kneeling for the pledge isn't equivalent to rosanne barr being disgustingly racist— j a d a (@jadajjanneau) July 7, 2018
in conclusion, @brendonurie you fucked up & your comments about cancel culture were so far off the mark. your (black) fans deserve an apology.— jess 3 (@slowhandsurie) July 9, 2018
I'm happy brendon urie came out and all but did he actually compare protesting against police brutality to rosanne tweeting and comparing a black woman to an ape?— Vladimir Puta (@duckvitaa) July 9, 2018
Many fans have come to his defence too.
the fact that people are burning their merch and demanding refunds on tickets over an evidently ill-thought out comment in a printed interview made by brendon urie is deeply concerning. cancel culture is toxic af. i'm so bored of fake woke twitter.— ˗ˏˋ katy belle ˎˊ˗ (@katybellemairs) July 10, 2018
Brendon Urie; *Makes a misguided analogy through his attempts to explain why he's not a fan of 'cancel culture'*— Death Princess Academy (@walkonwolfboy) July 7, 2018
Tumblr; WELL YOU'RE CANCELLED TOO
Brendon urie is not racist. He was talking about the people that worked on roseanne getting fired. Why are so many white people/people who aren’t black speaking for us about it. Tbh. Stop. He was saying cancel culture is actually the worst. And it is.— Parker (@sesoyelyah) July 9, 2018
This is a tricky one.
It would seem Brendon wasn't fully aware of Barr's history, as his quote clearly states that he thinks she just tweeted the one thing. He should have done more research on that before commenting. The comparison is obviously just very clumsy too. That said, he was attempting to make a fair point about cancel culture: that it can be toxic and it's not also easy to see where to draw the line - sometimes the wrong people get caught up in it. Brendon Urie doesn't deserve to be cancelled for that.