• Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

Russell Brand and the State of Cancel Culture

ByMeira Bradley

Sep 28, 2023
Russell Brand faces the camera, his gaze slightly off centre

Infamous for his controversial opinions and arrayed vernacular, Russell Brand is a character that may often pop up across your screen scrolling through social media during your morning coffee. However recent discourse on Brand is more alarming than his usual trivial hot takes, and whilst you may have continued to sip your latte as you read about his relationship with Katy Perry, now stories on him may make you put down your coffee as you learn about the sexual assault allegations made against him. 

With four different women making accusations against him over a seven year period, it is hard to believe there is no truth in these separate women’s accounts, despite Brand’s adamant denial. Whether Brand is charged or not in time, a harrowing concern at the centre of this issue is that it may not matter at all what comes off these allegations, due to the now fleeting nature of cancel culture. 

I’m sure you have found yourself passionately prattling before about a celebrity who has committed the ultimate offence, a cancelable action, but I invite you to ponder if any of these figures have actually been ‘cancelled’ for their actions.

A recent example of this ‘psuedo-cancelling’ is singer Rex Orange County, who was also accused of sexual assault and yet in the background of outraged chatter about the allegations made against him, his son, ‘Pluto Projector’ played from party speakers and in waiting rooms across the country. 

Time and time again, so-called ‘cancelled’ personalities have continued to thrive despite their controversial actions. Cancel culture has become so trivialised, from the sexy M&M to Charli D’Amelio vaping, it seems ‘cancelling’ is a term thrown around with little care.

It is my hope that if Brand is found guilty of the accusations made against him, he faces the consequences of his actions in the public sphere, however I am not convinced this hope would materialise. With cancel culture becoming so casualised, and with the general public fast to forgive or forget, it is unlikely Brand will face the consequences of these actions whether the courts decide he should or not.

From Tana Mongeau to Kanye West, cancel culture has proven itself not to be damning, and putting faith in its ability to hold celebrities accountable would be a grave mistake. 

“Russell Brand” by United Nations Information Service Vienna is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.