Cancel culture: 2020 has been a banner year for Hollywood apologies


Cannon apologized for the remarks he made while hosting controversial hip-hop figure Professor Griff, who was himself briefly kicked out of the rap group Public Enemy for anti-Semitic comments back in 1989.

Cannon also said he had begun a dialogue with rabbis and other Jewish leaders to better educate himself.

But career repercussions followed.

Cannon is just the latest issuing apologies in 2020.

A few others include:

Wendy Williams: The reigning queen of sizzling daytime gossip also, apparently, holds the title for this year’s mea culpa award. She has issued recent apologies for appearing to mock those with cleft lips and palates while making comments about actor Joaquin Phoenix’s lip, as well as seemingly homophobic comments regarding men wanting to celebrate “Galentine’s Day.”
Vanessa Hudgens: Back in March, Hudgens said she was sorry for saying it was “inevitable” that people would die from coronavirus and criticizing stay-at-home measures during an Instagram Live. She said her “words were insensitive and not at all appropriate for the situation our country and the world are in right now.”
Hannah Brown: A rap song got the “Bachelorette” star in hot water. She had to apologize for using the N-word while attempting to rap the lyrics of DaBaby’s “Rockstar” on her Instagram Live. The whole situation resurfaced debate as to whether it’s ever appropriate for White people to use that word. Here’s a clue: It’s not.
Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon: Might as well group them together since they share the same first name, are both late-night hosts and both Fallon and Kimmel apologized this year for having performed in Blackface in the past.
Alison Roman: The then New York Times food columnist apologized to fellow cooking and lifestyle mavens Chrissy Teigen and Marie Kondo after her comments about the pair during an interview led to social media backlash and accusations that she was being racist toward the Asian women.
Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute: The pair lost their jobs on the Bravo reality show “Vanderpump Rules” after Faith Stowers, who had appeared on the show a few times, accused them of being racist toward her in the past. (They are White and Stowers is Black.) Cast members Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni were also fired after racist tweets from them resurfaced. Schroeder, Doute, Boyens and Caprioni all issued statements of apology.

The list goes on, but you get the picture.

Just about every month since the glorious year of 2020 started, famous people have had to apologize. Cancel culture is real, and people quickly learn that what they say and do can adversely affect their livelihoods, let alone get them dragged on social media.

Of course, the higher the profile, the bigger the potential for them to fall.

I won’t blame it all on social media, but I will say that medium has contributed to the idea that everyone wants/needs to hear your thoughts and opinions and navigating that terrain can be tricky — especially for those who depend on the goodwill of their followers in order to keep their lucrative gigs and endorsements.

Even non-famous people have found their lives seriously affected once social media sees their actions (looking at all of the people recently caught on video being racist).

Apologies only go so far when the internet lasts forever.

For your weekend

Two things to watch:

Counselor Jodi Rodgers and Michael in "Love on the Spectrum."

Netflix has quickly become the destination for some of the best reality content dealing with love and true crime.

No, I’m not still talking about “Tiger King.”

Right now the streaming giant is offering such goodies as my current obsession, “Indian Matchmaking,” as well as the new version of “Unsolved Mysteries.”

Now there are two new shows to binge.

The former takes us into the world of people on the autism spectrum seeking love and life partners, while the later focuses on “the golden era of the mob.”

I love, love, love mob movies like “Goodfellas” (listen to my essay about that here on the “Lisa, Sandra and Kristen Go to the Movies” podcast ) so count me in!

One thing to listen to:

(From left) August Alsina was the other man in Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith's troubled marriage.
What do you do when a major star publicly admits to having had a relationship with you while she was still married to her superstar husband? If you are singer August Alsina, you drop a single about it.
Entanglement” features rapper Rick Ross and defines that term in its lyrics as “It’s when you’re tangled in the sheets.”
Of course, Alsina was “the other man” in Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s marriage, something the pair admitted to on a recent episode of her “Red Table Talk” series on Facebook.

Whether or not you agree with Alsina potentially profiting off of what has been one of the most talked about celeb stories of the year, you have the admit the song is kind of a bop.

One thing to talk about:

Stacey Dash and Alicia Silverstone in "Clueless"

Ready to feel old? “Clueless” turned 25 this past Sunday.

That’s right, Cher and her friends first hit the screen on July 25, 1995, and many have been obsessed with the film ever since (raises hand).

But does that make us old?!? AS IF!!!

Something to sip on

Speaking of the passage of time, hold on to your panties for this one.

Michael Schoeffling, who played the dreamy Jake Ryan in the now iconic 1984 film “Sixteen Candles,” turns 60 this year.

Yes, you read that correctly.

This column from CNN Senior Entertainment Writer Lisa Respers France will become a weekly newsletter later this summer.



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