The wrong Tweet can end a career. A hostile joke from a decade ago might kill a once-in-a-lifetime gig. A racially-charged slam may silence a voice heard for decades on radio stations nationwide.
A beloved author, someone who inspired millions of children to read across the globe, might become persona non grata for sharing an opinion the bulk of people hold.
And then there’s the other side of Cancel Culture.
The star who spits out homophobic and allegedly racist slams, among many loud and proud sins, and still finds work aplenty. The pop star who admits to drugging and stealing from men but faces nothing but grrrl power applause. The late night host who spent hours buried under blackface goop and yet escapes the woke mob’s wrath.
Oscar nominee LaKeith Stanfield is about the join the latter group.
The co-star of “Judas and the Black Messiah” and “Get Out” got busted recently for an appearance on the audio app Clubhouse. The platform, offering uncensored conversations at a time of increasing censorship, apparently had a discussion tied to Rev. Louis Farrakhan.
Yes, that Rev. Farrakhan.
In recent years, Farrakhan has embarked on a wide-ranging campaign specifically targeting the Jewish community, a campaign that has featured some of the most hateful speeches of his tenure as head of NOI. Farrakhan has alleged that the Jewish people were responsible for the slave trade and that they conspire to control the government, the media and Hollywood, as well as various black individuals and organizations. He frequently denies the legitimacy of Judaism – or Jewish claim to the land of Israel — arguing that Judaism is nothing more than a “deceptive lie” and a “theological error” promoted by Jews to further their “control” over America’s government and economy.
The far-left Daily Beast blasted the actor for appearing in the chat, but the details are even worse. Stanfield joined the conversation, and given his celebrity clout was upgraded to “moderator” status. The dialogue got ugly, fast, and apparently Stanfield not only stuck around but did little to stem the flow of hate. He didn’t actively share any anti-Semitic language, but one user said he didn’t stop or object to it, either.
One Jewish woman was so sickened by the things she was hearing that she took the stage to directly ask Stanfield why he was involved in a conversation that was amplifying hate speech, according to three sources. But instead of taking the opportunity to condemn the anti-Semitism running rampant in the room, Stanfield reportedly shrugged off the concern and avoided any responsibility for participating.
Here’s how one participant, according to The Daily Beast, described part of the conversation she heard during Stanfield’s time on the chat.
The rhetoric was perpetuated, that’s the problem. The rhetoric was all Jews were termites, all Jews were Satanic, there are good Jews and bad Jews. Further, they’re good Jews and Satanic Jews, the Jews who run the banks and the media. That is what the rhetoric was.”
Stanfield offered a full-throated apology for the appearance, to his credit, following the Daily Beast piece’s publication. He admitted to entering the Clubhouse chat in question on the “teachings of Louis Farrakhan” but later regretted his decision.
“I condemn hate speech and discriminatory views of every kind. I unconditionally apologize for what went on in that chat room, and for allowing my presence there to give a platform to hate speech,” LaKeith Stanfield wrote in an apology posted to his Instagram account early Saturday morning. “I am not an anti-Semite nor do I condone any of the beliefs discussed in that chat room.”
What did the talented actor expect from a chat dedicated to an avowed hater like Farrakhan? What did he hope to “learn” about his “teachings?” Stanfield did join a subsequent Clubhouse gathering led by Jewish educators.
There’s a lesson that can’t be ignored here.
Cancel Culture does not respect apologies. The woke mob demands them, of course, but it doesn’t divorce one from life-altering consequences.
Roseanne Barr learned that the hard way. So did Morgan Wallen.
The country superstar offered a lengthy, personal apology after using a racially-charged word in a private conversation captured on video. The list of punishments Wallen endured, and more are clearly on the way, show Cancel Culture at full, unapologetic force.
Will anything of the kind happen to Stanfield? It’s highly unlikely.
The imbroglio drew some press reaction but hardly wall-to-wall coverage like previous Cancel Culture victims. Sites like the far-Left Hollywood Reporter and Variety ignored the matter entirely.
Forgiveness matters, of course. People shouldn’t necessarily be “canceled” for an act that didn’t leave anyone hurt, or worse, and for which their apology is swift and uncompromising.
That’s not how Cancel Culture typically works, though. Often the ritualistic apology is just the first of many ramifications for the wrongdoing du jour.
So ask yourself why some people are punished to the highest degree possible by Cancel Culture, while others are either ignored or instantly absolved of their “sins.”
[Cross-posted from Hollywood in Toto.]