Cancelling Charli D’Amelio is counterproductive and rooted in misogyny

Nearing 100 million followers on Tik Tok, 16-year-old Charli D’Amelio is currently further away from the never-before-seen number than where she was a few days ago. 

In other words, the teenager has lost nearly a million followers after facing backlash from a YouTube video posted, titled “Dinner with the D’Amelio’s,” in which James Charles, Charli, her 19-year-old sister, Dixie, and her parents, Mark and Hiedi, are positioned in front of a gourmet meal—one that included snails. 

Their personal chef, Aaron May, explained the significance of the paella that he prepared specially for the family, to which Dixie and Charli responded with seemingly snobby attitudes, claiming that the chef “lied” about the cultural significance of the dish, that they would like “dino nuggets,” and even going so far as throwing up and leaving the table. 

That was not all, though. 

In addition to their evidently entitled attitudes at the dinner table, Charli made a comment about her following that directly contributed to her loss of followers. With 99.5 million followers as of this Wednesday—two days after the controversial YouTube video was posted—she said, after her claim of wanting dino nuggets while sitting in front of a personally made meal, “Ugh, I just wish I had more time because imagine if I hit 100 [million] one year after hitting a [million].”

She currently has 98.4 million.

On the surface, this scene—the dinner-time debacle—appears to be a privileged family, in which both Charli and Dixie went from attending a private school in Connecticut to amassing extraordinary exponential growth on all social media platforms, specifically Tik Tok, acting completely out of line. 

But, it is not that simple, nor is it that straightforward. 

There are, surprisingly, layers to the Keeping Up with the Kardashian’s-esque drama—drama that I, a 17-year-old living in Forest Hills, am frankly way too caught up in. 

First and foremost—and perhaps the most obvious yet overlooked tenet when it comes to drama on the internet—is that assumptions simply cannot be made from 15-second, or even 15-minute, video clips. As viewers, we cannot get comfortable with the “truth” that creators we only “know” based on their social media presence spew to their audience—to us. 

So, in this instance with the D’Amelio dinner debacle, in which Dixie in response to the overwhelming amount of criticism and backlash affirmed her following that they personally know the chef and he was “in” on the joke—that the D’Amelio’s recording team was attempting to make the easily nauseous Dixie to throw up—we simply cannot fully believe that, or even accept that. 

It comes to a point, more often than not, where the response to the act that people are trying so hard to ‘cancel’ people for is infinitely worse than the act itself.

On that same note, though, we cannot fully believe, or accept, that the way the D’Amelio’s were acting in the video were their true personalities—their true characters. 

It all goes back to a founding principle that I fear not many understand: assumptions cannot be so quickly made, especially on the internet. 

Looking further at the drama, though, the true, underlying issue lies in the swiftness of seemingly the entire internet moving to “cancel” Charli. For both her attitude towards the chef and the meal he prepared and her reduction of her followers to numbers on a screen, many other popular creators have voiced their opinions on their “bratty” and “ungrateful” attitudes. 

Here is the main issue I have with the abrupt wave to cancel the 16-year-old: everyone was so quick to jump on the train of “canceling” Charli yet still follow pedophiles such as Tony Lopez or extremely problematic people such as Trishia Paytas. They still follow groomers and rapists and pedophiles and racists and sexists and misogynists and homophobes. The issue lies in holding teenage creators to impossibly high standards and “canceling” them when they don’t meet those standards yet brushing off creators who say the N-word.

Now, I cannot mention that without stating that Noah Beck, Dixie’s short-time boyfriend, has committed his fair share of internet crimes, most notable being dancing to insensitive songs, and there is simply no excusing instances like that. 

However, the case of Charli and Dixie’s dinner scandal seems to be blown way out of proportion. And watching the video in its entirety makes that entirely clear. 

Simply put, Charli was excited to hit another monumental milestone a year after her first, which was hitting 1 million, and I cannot wrap my head around the fact that she is getting death threats for being excited about reaching a goal. To really dissect this to its core, those who are eagerly jumping to “cancel” Charli for this, first of all, have nothing better to do than hate, but second of all, and more importantly, they also have a misogynistic mindset. Think about it: Charli expressed ambition, something women often are shamed for. It boils down to double standards for women versus men in the industry and in life, and this is just one out of the many examples of the internalized misogyny that I don’t think a lot of people are ready to admit that they need to recover from.

I understand holding people accountable for their actions, and I do not in any way excuse the D’Amelio’s attitude during the dinner. I hope this debacle has taught the D’Amelio’s a lesson in appreciating all that they truly have and how much influence they have over their combined following—whether for good or for bad. It was immature for their age, and there were a million and one better responses to their personally prepared meal, yet how are any of us to know how much that video was fabricated for views, whether their team told them to say those things or act that way, or if that truly is how they act on a regular basis? 

There is a monumental difference between constructive criticism and holding people accountable versus death threats and pleas for Charli to take her own life. It comes to a point, more often than not, where the response to the act that people are trying so hard to “cancel” people for is infinitely worse than the act itself. Again, this does not excuse poor actions, but, in this instance, it is quickly reaching a point where the death threats are, in the grand scheme of things, worse than two teenagers’ poor attitudes during a dinner. 

Haven’t you been sassy at the dinner table? Would you want to be sent death threats for it?

This does not in any way boil down a video rich with dissectible layers to simply teenagers being sassy or ungrateful, but that is one of the main components of it, one that those who quickly moved to “cancel” her are focusing on.

Yes, creators on the internet are putting their privacy on pause, choosing to display their life and the choices they make on the internet for, in Charli’s case, millions to see, but that does not make them any less human. Being famous does come with consequences, as I’m sure the D’Amelio’s have learned, and, yes, they are welcoming—inviting—any and all criticism for their life and their life choices, but they still are going to make mistakes. 

Their lives are on display, which means their mistakes are on display as well. Every single one of us has made mistakes, yet we have had the chance and, honestly, the privilege to grow and learn from them.

So why can’t Charli? Is it because she is a young woman who was—and is—quickly reaching success?

I suppose that plays an integral role in the internet’s leap to “cancel” Charli for her seemingly poor attitude at the dinner table. 

This 15-minute video is exploding with controversy, and it is impossible to effectively dissect the many layers it contains. 

But, the main issue lies in grasping at straws to “cancel” a wildly successful woman for expressing ambition—something that she, or anyone else, for that matter, should never receive death threats for.