Grammy award-winning singer Billie Eilish became the subject of an attempted cancelation this week after a TikTok user posted a video showing Eilish lip-syncing along to a song that uses the anti-Asian slur ‘chink’ and speaking in an accent critics allege is meant to mock Asians.
Eilish said in a statement that she mouthed the lyrics along to the rap song when she was ’13 or 14′ and ‘didn’t know’ that the word was derogatory toward Asians. She nonetheless apologized, asserting that she is ‘appalled and embarrassed’ to have used the word. Eilish also denied mocking an Asian accent.
You have to wonder if this is some type of coordinated media hit against Eilish, considering her boyfriend, Matthew Tyler Vorce, 29, recently had to apologize for his own old social media posts in which he used the N-word and ‘faggot’. Could reps for Beyonce and Megan Thee Stallion still be upset over Eilish beating them out for the Grammy for Record of the Year? Could this be backlash from the body positivity movement because Eilish stopped dressing like Oscar the Grouch at a skatepark in 2002 and instead donned some risqué lingerie on her recent Vogue cover?
Cockburn has always found it ridiculous when the mob tries to cancel people for mistakes they made as children — and this is no exception. Singing along with some disparaging rap lyrics as a young teen is hardly proof that Eilish is an irredeemable racist. This particular smear feels even thinner than accusations that actress Ellie Kemper is a ‘KKK princess’ because she, as a teenager, participated in a pageant that had a history of segregation. (The pageant integrated before Kemper was born).
That being said, the attempted cancellation of Eilish should serve as a warning to Democrats that you can never be woke enough for the progressive left. Just last summer, Eilish spoke and performed at the Democratic National Convention, where she insisted that then-president Donald Trump ‘is destroying our country and everything we care about’ and called for leaders who will ‘fight against systemic racism and inequality.’ Eilish has also denounced ‘white privilege’ and expressed support for the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement. The pitchforks came for her just the same.
Even though Cockburn thinks this attack on Eilish is groundless, he finds it tough to muster up too much sympathy. Eilish is wildly rich and famous and already has major media outlets coming to her defense. In just a few days, this whole incident will blow over. The same can’t be said for many other victims of cancel culture, such as the high school student who was pressured to withdraw from her dream university after a conniving classmate posted a years-old video of her saying the N-word, prompting a write-up in the New York Times, or the professor who was placed on leave because he used a Chinese word that merely sounded similar to the N-word.
‘Try not to abuse your power,’ Eilish perceptively croons in one of her latest singles. Perhaps it is time for those who survive cancellation to skip the groveling apologies and instead use their power to speak out on behalf of those who weren’t so lucky.