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by Jessica Yu
If you’ve been active on social media recently, you’ve
probably witnessed or read about a celebrity getting “called out”,
meaning they have been publicly accused of saying or doing
something racist, sexist, ableist, or offensive. Following the call
out of an individual, many users on social media harass, insult,
and make judgements on that individual based off their one
offensive action. Even after the individual has made an apology,
oftentimes, the public has already shunned that person, and their
impression of them has been tainted forever.
Of course, letting celebrities, who are influential and have a
wide audience, know that their actions are offensive is important.
The purpose of calling someone out is to allow them to recognize
their mistakes, and learn from it. However, the reality of call out
culture is that everyone jumps on the bandwagon to hate on the
called out individual, making unnecessary and negative
comments. We were taught as children to “learn from your
mistakes”, but now we are too afraid to make mistakes in fear of
An alternative to calling out is “calling in”, where a private
conversation about an individual's actions takes place instead of a
public call out, which minimizes harassment. With celebrities this
is hard to do since reaching out to them is difficult, and usually
they only respond when criticism towards them becomes popular.
Instead of finding an alternative to calling out, we as a society
should work towards reducing the stigma of making mistakes,
and accept that people can change.