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Opinion | Karol Conká case reveals weaknesses in cancellation culture



After months of speculation, Globo confirmed on Sunday (11) that he will be launching a documentary series on the life of rapper and former BBB Karol Conká. The contestant, who left the venue with a record-breaking 99.17% rejection, will be told her story in “ The Life After Tombo, ” which premieres on Globoplay on the 29th of this month. On the Internet, of course, the reviews have already started and opinions are divided. After all, does the so-called cancellation culture exist or not?

The term “cancellation” essentially translates to a public depreciation of a number after a problematic or negative attitude or statement. Although it has already been used several times in this regard, many researchers believe that its current work was popularized after an episode of the reality show “ Love & Hip Hop: New York ”, in 2014, and was originally used ironically to demonstrate disagreement. With the #MeToo movement, its use has grown and divided. Today there are detractors, who attribute all the evil of humanity to cancellation, and skeptics, who claim that none of this exists. What is right and what is wrong then?

It is important to understand that cancellation encompasses three different collective behaviors. Some are valid, some are not, and it is precisely from this mess that so many contradictions emerge in this discussion.

1. The boycott

The boycott is, in practical terms, a financial response, a way to clarify discontent, to reach public figures where it hurts the most: in the pocket. It is to stop consuming, following or supporting a certain person for disagreeing with their attitudes.

After JK Rowling’s transphobic statements, for example, Harry Potter fans called on people to stop buying books or supporting new saga projects, just to make it clear that it was retaliation for prejudiced lines. The resignation of Gina Carano from “The Mandalorian“, after an Instagram post linking the “treatment suffered by the right” in the United States to “the start of the Holocaust” is also an example.

2. Virtual lynching

The problem begins precisely when the boycott is accompanied by a certain public humiliation which puts completely different behaviors on the same footing. In this context, it is common to see angry tweets or isolated statements receiving the same treatment as harassment cases condemned by the courts. Sometimes one incorrect post or speech is enough to reduce an entire story or career to one fact and the apologies become meaningless.

But public humiliation didn’t start with the Internet. The Salem witch trial of 1693 and the story of the book “ The Scarlet Letter ” from 1850 are nothing more than cases of lynching – and the internet certainly has nothing to do with these. events.

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The difference is that, for the first time, it can be used against famous and powerful people, which is why it has never been more obvious.

3. Criticism

You have probably read somewhere, more than once, a famous person saying that they are the victim of a “witch hunt” when in fact all people do is report contradictory behavior. For example, the audience of BBB21 pointed out that Marília Mendonça and Rafa Kalimann, strong supporters of the rejections of Nego Di and Karol Conká, remained silent when Rodolffo, friend of the first and ex-husband of the second, was in Paredão and the target criticism for behaviors reproducing machismo and homophobia.

The singer justified her silence by saying that she had more to do, and took the opportunity to criticize the culture of cancellation, which she said she was targeted for not having positioned herself on the Paredão. Kalimann preferred to let the matter go.

Although the collection and some associations may have been disproportionate, the change in posture observed by people was only an observation. The fact that Marília Mendonça has resorted to the ghost of cancellation (something more common than one might imagine) to reposition herself as a victim only shows how unprepared we are for this debate.

Mixing everything up is a problem

The big problem with treating the cancellation culture like a seven-headed bug is giving it a power it doesn’t have. In most cases, annulment is a transitional phase of public life, precisely because this examination, while often harmful, has always existed – it is only changing shape.

Looking at this in a practical way, it is in Globo’s best interests to help dispel the negative outlook on Curitiba after BBB. After all, she was one of the guests of the box and, if the program has a bad consequence for her career, it complicates the choice of the next editions. In addition, Conká has been in professional contact with the house for several years. He previously featured “ Superbonita ” on GNT, and before jail, he ordered “ Prazer, Feminine ” alongside Marcela Mc Gowan on the channel’s YouTube – the show had its TV show canceled precisely because of the controversies in reality.

In fact, Marcela’s presence in GNT’s presenters’ room reinforces the transitional nature of the cancellation, given all the criticism the gynecologist received while attending BBB20. And that’s not a problem.

But that is precisely why one has to be careful about cancellation, as the term is used the same way for completely different matters.

Horrible attitudes, such as machismo, racism and homophobia, must be treated as such, debated and condemned. Cases like the Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey “cancellations” are more important than that because they involve investigations and trials. But it’s also important to understand that the undo guillotine carries different weights for people with different levels of influence – and artists are rarely the people on the weaker side of that chain.

In the case of Karol Conká, it is inevitable to return to the question of “separating the art from the artist”. In a broader perspective, is there a difference between supporting or not supporting what someone like Roman Polanski is doing now as a filmmaker or enjoying what he has done in the past and left a an important mark for the evolution of cinema? Is there a difference between demanding attitudes from people in the public today and applying the same standards to artists who lived in the 1950s or 1960s?

For some people, it exists. For others, no. None of this is set in stone, as the emotional connection between audience and work generates a breakdown in expectations that is felt in different ways. Think Harry Potter fans who grew up with the disappointed little witch JK Rowling, or fans of Karol Conká songs having a shock at seeing her behavior at home. In either case, there are those who are unable to continue using and there are those who have no problem, and this is completely subjective.

In general, therefore, when we say that the annulment does not exist, it is precisely because the idea of ​​an eternal and indelible condemnation aroused by artists who are the object of criticism, is often nothing. more than a myth that excludes them – In-depth and enriching debate on mistakes and successes. As for the documentary “A Vida Além do Tombo”, it is not possible to judge before watching it. Let it be honest.

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