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In November, criticism of female musician Clairo went around social media as people told stories of the singer acting stand-offish towards fans. Although she wasn’t “canceled,” misinformation spread through Twitter and TikTok as fans defended her and users made parody videos of things Clairo had done to them (satirical, for example spitting on her fans and plucking out their eyelashes). Both fans and trolls got thousands of views and likes, and the musician’s integrity was questioned as the attention caused netizens to question whether or not she even deserved her success and fame.
Although questioning the integrity of artists and their place in the music industry can be productive, as the industry is notoriously slimy and abusive, this situation with Clairo is representative of a deeper problem within this industry: double standards.
Male artist Tyler the Creator got his start with the artistic group Odd Future, formed in the early 2000s which gained popularity from their controversial, hip hop based music and art. From the get go, Tyler the Creator has been known for his explicit and outspoken nature, which finds its way into how he interacts with fans. He is famous for treating his fans badly, even writing lyrics about it: Tyler begins his 2013 song “Colossus,” by calling 6 fans that come up to him at an amusement park f-slurs, and deprecates fans who come up to him throughout the rest of the song.
Granted, artists are allowed to want privacy, and resent obnoxious fans. But when a story about Clairo, a female artist, being rude to a fan years ago causes thousands of people to try to cancel her, but Tyler the Creator is famous for being rude to his fans to the point that it became his brand, there is a clear double standard at play.
The fan bases between Clairo and Tyler the Creator may have very different cultures and attitudes when it comes to treatment of fans, but there is a history of female celebrities and artists being canceled for using crude or explicit language or acting rude, when male celebrities are seen as “edgy” for doing the same things. Consider the standards you hold your idols to, and hold yourself accountable for your biases.