In a recent interview, the Queen of Pop, Madonna, condemned cancel culture.
In a November 2 interview with V Magazine, Madonna was asked her thoughts on a line from her 2019 studio album Madame X: “Artists are here to disturb the peace.”
She replied, “It’s interesting because peace is subjective. The way people think about the pandemic, for instance, that the vaccination is the only answer or the polarization of thinking you’re either on this side or the other. There’s no debate, there’s no discussion. That’s something I want to disturb. I want to disturb the fact that we’re not encouraged to discuss it. I believe that our job is to disturb the status quo.”
Madonna is not alone in viewing the artist as one whose role is to challenge the status quo and to explore other perspectives. Over a year ago, over 150 writers and activists signed an open letter to end cancel culture. However, cancel culture – and the external censoring and self-censoring that goes hand in hand with it – is still going strong.
“The censoring that’s going on in the world right now, that’s pretty frightening,” Madonna continued. “No one’s allowed to speak their mind right now. No one’s allowed to say what they really think about things for fear of being canceled, cancel culture. In cancel culture, disturbing the peace is probably an act of treason.”
She added, “The thing is the quieter you get, the more fearful you get, the more dangerous anything is. We’re giving it power by shutting the f*** up completely.”
Madonna is spot on about the danger of silence. In extreme, widespread cases, silence can lead to governmental oppression, as described by North Korean refugee Yeonmi Park this past summer. Exercising free speech and the First Amendment, and not apologizing, as demonstrated by actress Gina Carano, is ultimately the better route for a healthy society.