For those of you that are blissfully unaware of the TikTok world, Addison Rae is a pretty big deal.
The cheerleader turned social media star is a member of LA’s coveted content collective, the Hype House. She owns one of the most followed accounts on TikTok, sharing little dances and cute lip sync videos.
Unlike some other Gen-Z influencers, Addison Rae has always kept it clean. Her videos are so wholesome that she often includes her mom in them, making it a real family affair.
The likes of Danielle Cohn may use controversy to their advantage to get clicks, but Addison has never been like that. She’s built a brand on being friendly, pure, and well-behaved. That is, until recently.
The Black Lives Matter movement has been thrust to the forefront of the public gaze, and it extends way beyond protesting for change.
It’s prompted fans to take a much harder look at social media stars, investigating their skeleton-ridden closets to see what’s hidden under the stacks of Vans.
Few expected Addison Rae to be listed among the guilty. That made it all the more sensational when a video she reposted several years ago of a woman likening Black Lives Matter to a “cult” came to light .
Rather own up to the video, Addison Rae went on a social media blackout. That’s the internet version of running home to mama.
Realistically, Addison probably hunkered down with her PR team to figure out what the best route out of this mess was.
Because of my privilege, I didn’t understand and wasn’t educated enough on the social injustices facing the black community. All lives cannot matter until black lives do…I am truly sorry and I committed to using my platform you all have given me to work on becoming a better ally. I love you endlessly.
Well played, right?
Is Addison committed to becoming a woke social justice warrior, or is she just playing the game?
Thanks to the oh-so-awful “cancel culture,” we’ll find out. Something that would never have happened if she’d been allowed to simply brush her past under the rug.
Critics argue cancel culture is a cruel way of dehumanizing someone just because they’re famous. The reality is it’s the only leverage we have over influencers that abuse their power.
That changes the narrative a bit, doesn’t it?
Many social media savants are kids or young adults with no idea of how their actions influence other people. They have no boss and no one to monitor them – apart from parents likely profiting from their follower count.
The risk of being canceled and losing everything isn’t a mean-spirited way to punish someone for making mistakes. It’s the only thing keeping teens like Addison Rae in check.
In a world where an 18-year-old can move to LA and post videos for a living, getting “canceled” can be the difference between someone abusing their station and acknowledging they need to behave like a responsible adult.
Those saying “You can’t cancel a human” need to think about the alternative. Would Addison have ever apologized if she didn’t face career-ending consequences?
Nobody in the real world bemoans the “tyranny” of accountability.
If we walked into our office and made a crude joke about someone underage, or spouted off a racist remark, we would be out of work. If we sent out abusive emails to thousands of people from our accounts, we might even face prosecution.
Honestly, being “canceled” isn’t nearly as scary as its critics make it out to be. It’s just accountability for the internet age.
No one wants to wake up to a barrage of hate for something they’ve done, but it’s part of life.
Mollycoddling isn’t going to fix problematic behavior. The threat of demonetization might.