CANCEL Culture & The Politics of Schadenfreude | James Charles Drama



hey guys welcome back to the show today we are going to be talking about the politics of canceled culture because there's always drama on the internet after all it is the internet but these past few weeks especially have been insane if anyone isn't familiar with the term cancel culture it's basically the idea that when someone usually a public figure does or says something wrong everyone dog piles on them condemns them disavows them and cancels them meaning that they're done for they're finished they'll never work again or they'll never be popular again not all parts of our society may use the term canceled culture that's really more of an online millennial slash Gen Z type of phrase but make no mistake even though we may not all call it canceled culture almost everyone in our society right now does participate in it allow me to explain recently in the online specifically YouTube Beauty community there's been a lot of drama and I mean more drama than usual because in general the beauty community is by nature kind of inclined toward drama this controversy which is ongoing involves three of the biggest names in the online beauty world Tati Westbrook James Charles and of course Jeffrey star and if you didn't know who those people were before last week odds are you sure as heck do now now I don't want to go too in depth into this whole thing because it's already been the subject of many many videos online and besides it's really not what the message of this video is about anyway but essentially James Tati and Jeffrey are all youtubers who talk about makeup and beauty products as well as have their own brands and products that they promote and to the outside world it kind of seemed like they were all friends that is of course until May 10th when tot he released a video called bye sister which has since garnered over 50 million views in which over the course of 40 minutes she denounces James Charles as a friend and proceeds to make allegations about James being in general a shady person a bad friend overly promiscuous and maybe even a sexual predator this video blew up obviously it was trending on Twitter and YouTube even people who previously had had no idea who either James or hotty where we're now talking about this and James Charles proceeded to lose millions and millions of subscribers for all intents and purposes he had been canceled by Tati and if you were following this whole thing online you'll know that the memes which have been born out of it are pretty good and before we go any further I do have a quick message from our sponsor Freedom Works have you ever lost a loved one to heart disease or cancer do you know anyone suffering from Parkinson's or Alzheimer's friends these are horrific illnesses that are plaguing the country and killing our friends and families but instead of helping medical researchers find cures HHS secretary Alex Azer is pushing socialist regulations that will set medical innovation back decades that is not acceptable so please go to WWF reading Works org slash Lauren to tell secretary azer to fix patients not prices if we let Acer allow foreign governments to dictate the price of drugs for American patients we will see us-based Medical Research which leads the world come to a screeching halt promising new research will be cast aside as investment in bio pharmaceutical innovation dries up just like in Europe thankfully Freedom Works is leading the charge to stop this big government plot once and for all but they can't do it themselves they need your help that's why we're asking you our audience to go to WWF Redeemers org slash Lauren to tell secretary easier to fix patients not prices help freedom work stop secretary Acer's terrible regulatory price control agenda by going to WWF rita Mercs org slash Lauren tell him to fix patients not prices you can go there and take action now that's WWF Rita Morris org slash Lauren like I said before the makeup community is no stranger to drama in fact there's an entire genre of channel on YouTube that exists solely to talk about drama in the make up community and they actually get quite a lot of views so this scandal wasn't a first time kind of thing but still Tottie's video was different I mean we even had people like h3h3 and pewdiepie talking about this whole thing at which spoiler alert they're not usually the type of people who comment on drama in the make up community James Charles being cancelled had become a cultural phenomenon and after thinking about it for a while I think I figured out exactly why this story became so popular James Charles is only 19 years old and until recently he had over 16 million YouTube subscribers he is objectively one of the youngest and most successful people in his industry and as tabloids have shown us for decades if not centuries the only thing people love more than celebrities is hating celebrities I mean as sick as it is you have to admit that the only thing more satisfying than watching someone be built up to success is watching them be torn down in the most brutal way imaginable not only was Golden Boy James Charles being accused of backstabbing and even sexual misconduct but he was being accused by someone who was once one of his closest friends mind blown that is some hot tea and don't get me wrong in light of these allegations I completely understand why people in that industry or his fans and subscribers would be concerned and interested if someone you support or that a lot of your friends support does turn out to be this awful person then I think you're completely justified in wanting to know of course people don't want to be complicit in the popularity and success of a crappy person especially if that crappy person is apparently using their celebrity as a means to manipulate people sexually I get all that 100% and to be clear I'm not saying that we shouldn't hold public figures accountable for their actions that to me is not canceled culture that's just accountability what is canceled culture though is the absolute sheer joy and cruelty and bandwagoning that took place in light of Tottie's video people were throwing out James Charles products that they had already bought people were demanding that brands severed ties with him he was getting death threats and remember all of this was in response to unsubstantiated allegations people were happy that he was failing and I'm guilty of this too by the way I am also part of the problem I have been a huge fan of Tottie's for years I'm one of those subscribers of hers who watches almost every single video soin taught to released that video of hers it didn't matter that I didn't really know a lot about James Charles and wasn't really familiar with his stuff to begin with if my girl says this is what happened then that's what happened team Tati all the way well as we all especially taught to you learned this past Saturday though canceled culture giveth and canceled culture taketh away you see what's interesting about canceled culture is that it really stems from an us-versus-them mob mentality but the thing about mobs is that they are notoriously fickle on Saturday James Charles posted an again 40 minute video titled no more lies and as of this recording it has almost 30 million views in his video James armed with screenshots of text conversations pretty much debunks everything Tati said in her video and not only that but he also seemingly exposes Geoffrey star who is another big beauty youtuber for being kind of a bully Geoffrey star also has this super huge platform and after Tottie's video he released a series of tweets essentially saying that everything taught to had said in her video was true he basically also vouched that James was in fact a sexual predator but sister James wasn't having any of that if you want to know more about this whole thing you can watch the full videos yourself but right now we are at a point where James is actually gaining subscribers again and Tati and Jeffrey are losing them so currently James is uncannily and now Tati and Jeffrey are cancelled and as big a deal as this drama is right now it's just a fact that in about a week most of us will have moved on and be talking about someone else because online there is never a shortage of people being cancelled I mean recently gamer Pro Jared was found to have been cheating on his wife and maybe soliciting underage fans he was cancelled Trisha Paytas another huge youtuber it turns out ghosted someone who had flown to LA specifically to collab with her and then she lied about it she's cancelled Jake Paul and Logan Paul they both had different times been canceled I'm pretty sure Game of Thrones the the last season that has been awful the showrunners D&D they're cancelled that's for sure fans are actually so disappointed with the last season that there's now actually a petition with almost a million signatures for HBO to remake it with different writers canceled culture is everywhere and what makes it so toxic is calling out people when they do bad things there's nothing wrong with that inherently and it's actually a necessary thing no it's the cruel and really vindictive pleasure that so many of us take in watching someone else's misery which can best be summed up in a term called shot Chad and schadenfreude schadenfreude schadenfreude a' is basically feeling joy at someone else's misfortune and it's not a new concept unfortunately I think it's just part of human nature but it is something that has been cultivated and is especially prominent in the age of social media humans have always been petty in that we tend to delight in the downfall of people we don't like but it's not until social media that people started reaching these huge amounts of fame with millions of supporters and detractors and it's not until social media that downfalls became so public and like I said earlier shout and froy to driven canceled culture exists in every aspect of society nowadays including politics in the political community just like the beauty community we love and thrive on drama there is a particular type of schadenfreude that is based entirely on group identity as Scottie Hendricks writes this is called aggression based schadenfreude 'ah he writes that quote often improving the group urine can require the defeat of other groups this kind of shot in Florida is the one you might feel when your favorite teams rival loses a game to someone else and can't make the playoffs even though your team is already long out of the running this kind of shot in Florida the one based on group identity like left-wing vs. right-wing conservative versus liberal Democrat versus Republican is the kind we see most often in the political community and what I've noticed as someone who's been around long enough to have been cancelled probably multiple times at this point is what makes cancel culture in the political community different than other communities is that because of this whole group identity thing which is so much stronger here than other places a lot of the times the people who cancel you were never actually your supporters to begin with like how the woman's March has tried to cancel Tucker Carlson for allegedly saying racist things even though pretty sure none of you guys were fans of his to begin with Dave Rubin was recently cancelled by verified lefty Twitter users for having Mike Serna bitch on his show even I'm pretty sure none of the people upset by Mike's appearance we're fans of Dave to begin with and I'm also pretty sure that Dave's actual fans do like that he talks to a variety of different people in the political sphere in my opinion cancel culture is even more toxic because people use it as a weapon against people who they never even liked in the first place and politics now also highlights another way that canceled culture is just so destructive and that when someone is cancelled they're not just wrong they're not just over when someone is cancelled that means they are a terrible person and if you continue to support or associate with them you are also a terrible person go back like a week ago and look for any comments that weren't defending James Charles I can bet that those were not well received and likewise fast forward to right now and look at what people are saying to anyone defending Totti or Jeffrey start I can bet it's not nice it is not socially acceptable to stand for someone once they've been canceled and I think this is part of the reason why politics today is so divisive each team is trying to cancel people in the other team even though they were never fans to begin with and once that happens they also have to cancel anyone who continues to defend or hang out with the person who was originally cancelled so then it just ends up being that both teams have cancelled the entirety of the other team and the last thing I'm going to say about canceled culture in the political community is that it's gotten so bad that we're at the point where no matter what guest I have on my show and I have guests on my show weekly there is at least a handful of people who tell me that I'm canceled just for talking to them in the political community we are especially prone to purity testing so what that means is that will cancel people just for not agreeing with us enough sure Ben Shapiro may be one of the biggest names in conservative commentary but he's not as Pro Trump as he should be plus he's kind of a neocon so he's cancelled he needs to be punished for not having all of the correct views that I do sure Blair White may be an outspoken supporter of free speech and a staunch critic of social justice gender nonsense but you know what she's trans so cancelled sure Tommy Robinson maybe one of the loudest voices in support of protecting British culture and values and people being able to control who comes in and out of their countries but you know what he's not as against immigration as I think he should be so he's cancelled sheer Sargon may be someone who is affecting real change in the political establishment but you know what he got into some drama with this other youtuber that I watched so cancelled those are the type of comments that I see every single time I engage with another political commentator or activist on my channel and I also see them any time I appear on someone else's channel about me and you know what if that's the kind of attitude that we're gonna have about other people in our movement about the most vocal supporters of our movement then we're screwed the problem with cancel culture is that if you wait long enough everybody is going to be canceled so long story short I guess what I'm trying to say in this video is that humanity can be some toxic bit this isn't an easy problem to solve and we don't want things to swing too far the other way where now we can't criticise anyone but we have got to get a hold of this cancel culture that's happening number one don't believe everything you hear whether it's Dave Rubin apparently being funded by the Koch brothers spoiler alert he's not or Totti just making her James Charles video to boost her own subscribers I really doubt that was it don't believe something bad about someone just because you don't like them all right I've heard enough outrageous crap about myself that is apparently true to know that people lie on the internet all the time number two don't bandwagon don't start hating someone just because you see everyone else hating them look at their content for yourself and decide on your own whether you want to support them number three don't forget that people even people you engage with on the Internet are still people someone doesn't lose their humanity just because they have different political opinions than you or because they talk to someone you don't like or even because they made a mistake in their career no one's perfect everyone makes mistakes we're all gonna need forgiveness at some point and I feel like when it comes to canceled culture we all just magically forget that which is such a shame those are just my thoughts Kancil culture and as always I would love to know what you guys think why is canceled culture so big right now and what can we do to dial it back let me know but that's it for now thank you guys so much for tuning in and I'll see you next time