Happy Friday, and welcome to the first of our “People We Regret To Inform You Were Cancelled This Week” series. It’s exactly what it sounds like, though there is a disclaimer: These wrongdoers by no means exist on the same spectrum of moral corruption.
Some are worse than others. Some are individuals and some are groups of people. Some committed crimes so heinous they deserve to be shipped off to another planet whereas others just… kinda messed up. Some are cancelled for a day, and others for eternity. Don’t get into semantics with me here, people.
1. Katy Perry
Two shoe designs in Katy Perry‘s clothing line came under fire earlier this week after people noticed that the “Rue Face Slip-On Loafers” and the “Ora Face Block Heel Sandal” were a little too reminiscent of blackface.
— Wait for it…. (@BloopJustSayin) February 10, 2019
Though sources told TMZ that the shoe line came in nine different colors and were not meant to imply any racial undertones, the brand is pulling them from retailers “in order to be respectful and sensitive.”
— following my bliss (@AngelaCFisher) February 11, 2019
Perry’s brand management group added that the shoes were “envisioned as a nod to modern art and surrealism and that “our intention was never to inflict any pain.”
I’m personally not a fan of Katy Perry and was ready to cancel her forever when that video of her dancing with Migos emerged. However—despite the fact that NOTHING REMOTELY RESEMBLING BLACKFACE SHOULD PASS THROUGH ENOUGH PEOPLE TO GET MANUFACTURED IN 2019—(I cannot stress this enough)—the fact that there were nine other shoe colors, combined with her genuine-ish apology, means Perry isn’t fully cancelled in our books just yet.
2. The Academy Awards
Yeah! The entire Academy, ok?!
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced it would not be airing four (VERY IMPORTANT) awards live at the Oscars anymore, triggering a wave of criticism from famous people across social media.
In an effort to keep the show shorter than three hours as a result of flagging viewership, awards for Best Cinematography, Film Editing, Live Action Short, and Makeup and Hairstyling will still be presented during the ceremony—but will be aired later with segments edited out.
“We’d like to assure you that no award category at the 91st Oscars ceremony will be presented in a manner that depicts the achievements of its nominees and winners as less than any others,” Academy officials wrote in a letter after the backlash.
But people were still pissed, and rightfully so.
As Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro (and Seth Rogen) pointed out, there would be no cinema without…cinematography.
In the history of CINEMA, masterpieces have existed without sound, without color, without a story, without actors and without music. No one single film has ever existed without CINEMAtography and without editing.
— Alfonso Cuaron (@alfonsocuaron) February 12, 2019
Reposting, revised: I would not presume to suggest what categories should occur during commercials on Oscars night, but, please: Cinematography & Editing are at the very heart of our craft. They are not inherited from a theatrical or literary tradition: they are cinema itself.
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) February 13, 2019
What better way to celebrate achievements in film than to not publicly honor the people’s who’s job it is to literally film things.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) February 12, 2019
Listen, we can’t “cancel” the Academy Awards. And cutting the show’s runtime to attract more viewers is an understandable move, if not (probably) meaningless. But find some other garbage to cut out! I can’t think of one, since y’all already nixed a host, but…I’m sure there’s something you can find.
I was gonna read that Esquire article about how tough life is for white men but then I just went to an open mic instead
— Cathy Humes (@CrappyFumes) February 13, 2019
The backlash to Esquire‘s February cover—’An American Boy‘—was so swift, furious, and well-deserved that many wondered whether the magazine was employing outrage as a form of marketing.
What other reason could there be for devoting their Black History Month issue to 17-year-old white Trump supporter Ryan Morgan, whose main problem in life is figuring out how to voice his conservative opinions in an increasingly progressive social media landscape?
Esquire’s choice to profile Morgan isn’t only confounding because he is a white cis MAGA male, and February is a month meant to honor African Americans—but because he fights girls??? As one Twitter user points out, “the opening to the Esquire piece on the white kid is about him fighting a girl in high school and him and his mother talking about all the ways girls lie about getting beat up.”
By calling Morgan “average,” Esquire bestows upon him the sort of legitimacy white cisgendered males simply don’t need because they’ve always had it.
The magazine seriously postures that his struggle is the one we need to be focusing on—rather than immigrants, whose families are being torn apart at the southern border, or young women, who still have to fight for their right to choose, or members of the LGBTQ community, who face greater daily terror as a direct result of Trump’s vicious rhetoric and policies.
If you're Black, queer, trans, a woman or any further marginalized you have to literally change the world before you become a cover star, but Esquire shows us that white cishet men and boys get to simply exist and be seen as worthy.
— Raquel Willis (@RaquelWillis_) February 12, 2019
Before the controversial cover, Esquire was a largely forgotten old-timey men’s magazine fighting for identity (besides, who’d ever choose Esquire over GQ?). To call it ‘cancelled’ would be to give it greater relevancy than it deserves.
However, we are genuinely interested in seeing how the magazine will make good on its promise that the Morgan profile was only the first in a series that will include boys of various races, genders, and sexualities.
4. Ryan Adams
The New York Times released an explosive report on Wednesday alleging that seven-time Grammy nominated music industry veteran Ryan Adams psychologically abused at least seven different women, including actor and writer Phoebe Bridgers, ex-wife Mandy Moore, and several underage female musicians.
According to Moore, who was married to Adams for most of her 20s, Adams effectively sabotaged her self-worth and ruined her music career. “His controlling behavior essentially did block my ability to make new connections in the industry during a very pivotal and potentially lucrative time—my entire mid-to-late 20s,” she explained.
He would also tell her things like “You’re not a real musician, because you don’t play an instrument,” and book time for her in the studio only to give it away to other female musicians.
The other six women in the report had eerily similar tales of psychological manipulation, torture, and harassment. On Wednesday, Adams took to Twitter to apologize.
Adams is cancelled forever. Time’s up, motherf***er.
5. The Daily Mail
I mean, imagine a masculinity so fragile it was threatened by books. IMAGINE. #manrepeller
— Nadine West (@andiekarenina) February 11, 2019
The Daily Mail published an article titled “How to avoid turning your home into a manrepeller” last Sunday and it was glorious, in the way schadenfreude is glorious.
Writer Liz Hoggard had “interiors therapist” Suzanne Roynon come over to tell her how her home’s decor contributes to her singleness. Roynon uses Marie Kondo’s KonMari method of decluttering combined with her own “emotional overhaul life coaching” experience to not only get rid of unnecessary stuff, but to get rid of stuff that is “repellent” to men.
Some examples of things that repel men: Cactuses, because they are “too spiky.” Novels “with depressing titles” because they’re a bummer, and books in the bedroom generally because “bedrooms should be about sleep and love.” Also, an excess of pictures of women on their own (particularly strong, independent women), and fridge magnets, for reasons unstated.
While we won’t be cancelling The Daily Mail altogether (where else can you find an article titled “Cameron Diaz pulls some odd facial expressions while out and about in London” smushed directly against one with the headline, “Does climate change exist? It all depends on what date you ask someone and whether it’s raining at the tie, claims scientist”), the notion that books repel men is cancelled forever and ever and ever.