First off, I wanted to dedicate this article to those who would love for America to go back to a "better, simpler time," and give the gift of good news. Because of Cancel Culture, we are once again the same morally restrictive country we had been in the 1950s.
So hop in the ol' Delorean and let's travel back to the cultural dynamics during the era of liking-Ike.
Written By: Anton Sawyer
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With the rates of TVs being purchased in the 1950s increasing rapidly—mainly due to minimum wage keeping up with inflation and households having more disposable income—the US Government was getting concerned as to the content of what was being pumped into millions of households.
In the 1950s, the FCC also prohibited "obscene and indecent" material. Programming is considered obscene if "the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the material appeals to the prurient interest; that the material describes or depicts sexual conduct in a patently offensive manner; or taken as a whole, the material lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value." Indecent programming was defined as "patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium and describes sexual or excretory activities and organs."
In order to jump ahead of censorship, they took a book out of the film industry and began self-regulating. No law said married couples on TV were REQUIRED to sleep in separate beds; that was all the TV industry. They were witnessing the "Leave It To Beaver"-era, and knew that Gallup polls from that time showed over 90% of the adult population identified as Christian, with only a small percentage claiming no religious identification at all or identifying with a non-Christian religion, they molded their programming as such. As soon as any kind of programming went to the airwaves, if enough people were offended (no matter what reason it was), that show would be taken off the air. This has happened to various programs for various reasons over the decades.
Then, in 1997, Ellen Degeneres got really sick and tired of people who thought they had some kind of moral superiority telling her who she can and cannot love. She had an extremely popular sitcom at the time and wanted to use that as a platform to help the LGBTQ community. I remember when this happened, and it was huge.
Baptist evangelist Jerry Falwell called the comedian "Ellen Degenerate," joining a cavalcade of right-wingers in a public letter condemning the episode titled "The Puppy Episode." A group calling itself Media Research ran a full-page ad in "Variety" magazine, proclaiming that ABC was "promoting homosexuality." This episode would go on to win an Emmy award, along with a Peabody award; so the quality of the content was not the issue. Conservatives across the country banded together to stop Ellen. Eventually, this caused Ellen's show to be canceled. Though many blamed it on low ratings, I have no doubt that the influence of those who feel they had God, Jesus, or whoever backing them, that they were truly trying to do what was "right." To them, their lives had been so blessed by the Lord and Savior, that it would be reprehensible to not share that joy and salvation with everyone.
I was never someone who could look at the tragic mistakes of my own life and felt that I had the moral superiority to tell others how to live their lives. As long as everyone involved is a consenting adult, as long as the activity of someone else doesn't wreck my life in some way, and—to quote Frank Zappa—"So long as it doesn't lead to a rape or a murder, let's get on with it then." Therefore, I could never understand how a comedian on a TV show that was a lady and was sexually attracted to ladies should make me get angry. Some programs, like's Britain's "Heil Honey! I'm Home" (a spoof on 1950s American sitcoms featuring Hitler and Eva Braun), make sense as to why it only lasted one episode. But I was truly baffled as to why all of these people cared so much about Ellen's show. There was one argument that I heard from those who were too weak as individuals to use the remote and change the station/channel if they didn't like what they saw, "normalization." Since I fully supported LGBTQ rights, I was all in favor of people choosing who they want to love as becoming "normal."
Fast forward a couple of decades. Ellen is now in hot water because of the work environment she oversaw. I'm not going into all the specifics, there are a million-and-one articles out there about it. Just know that many of her employees felt unsafe, they felt like they were targets, there was emotional and verbal abuse, the list goes on. Throughout the summer of 2020, I waited to see what was going to happen when she returned in September to address the allegations. To be honest, I was kind of surprised that Cancel Culture didn't take her down almost immediately.
In the 21st Century, we have had major advancements in the realms of mental health and the level of importance it has in every aspect of our lives; including life or death in some cases. Between suicide levels rising in almost every significant category, almost anyone and everyone who genuinely believes in helping their fellow man have addressed this on some level. I was surprised Ellen was never called out for creating an environment that stokes the fires of a mentally and emotionally crippling workplace. I convinced myself that after she gave her apology on national TV, then the floodgates would open. I was wrong.
Sure, a lot of websites, videos, and articles came out saying how fake and phone the apology was, but that's it. Nothing more.
So what would cause a group that has the pulse of all humanity and the right to "consequence" people to give her a break?
Her icon status. Like I said above, she broke down many walls. I cannot see the history of the LGBTQ movement going anywhere near the trajectory it did without Ellen. She won a Medal of Freedom award from former President Obama because of her bravery and actions. How do you take someone with that much clout down?
You don't. You make excuses to yourself in order to justify your hypocrisy.
Either you look at all of the good that she's done overall and let this slide under the rug. Or you live in fear that if you try to Cancel her then you will face immense backlash over it. You would be called anti-LGBTQ, homophobic, and it would effectively backfire because ... well ... she's ELLEN.
Those who thrive in the world of Cancel Culture have become utterly convinced that the societal ills which are crushing the common-folk are a direct result of everything that can cause division or send our society regressing. Though I agree with stopping all of those scourges as quickly as possible, I don't agree with the methods, because it can quite literally justify any kind of reaction to stopping these cancers of America.
I want to ask you this: You have seen the personal destruction of the lives of those you love because of an outside influence, one you may be able to silence. By doing so you are not only helping your friend but the millions you see online who are in the exact same situation. You know that in your heart, it is imperative to help stop this massively apocalyptic force from leaving more destruction in its wake. You band together with like-minded friends and form a community to stop the fires from burning. You pull out every stop and slay the metaphorical dragon.
Which one is the Christian-right and which one is Cancel Culture? There is no difference.
For decades the LGBTQ community had to be seen as stereotypes on any major stage because the religious-right would do whatever would be possible to stop them from being held in any good light. Remembering the late 90s and how upset I was, I'm met with the same level of confusion. Time and time again over this century society at large has been leaving Christianity—especially those of younger ages—because they don't like being told what to do. They don't like having these ideals being forced down their throats. I wonder how long the ball will sit in their court before they realize they've become the thing they hate?