Why do people remain fans when their idol is convicted?

Mediaonderzoeker Simone Driessen aan het woord
Evenement Rotterdam Ahoy
Charles Batenburg

It probably didn't escape your notice. Rapper Lil Kleine is accused of abusing his girlfriend. A bad case! Yet some of his fans remain loyal to the rapper. How is this possible? During an interview at Studio Erasmus, media scientist Simone Driessen explains how people may remain fans of their idol, even if that person is guilty of transgressive behaviour or has been convicted.

Difficult to say goodbye to your idol

According to Driessen, this is a complex situation. People who have built up a relationship with their idol for a long time find it difficult to let go of their idol just like that. Even if they find out that their star is misbehaving.  As an example, Driessen gives the Harry Potter books written by J.K. Rowling. The author's homophobic Twitter statements brought a lot of emotion to her readers. This created doubt around Harry Potter fans as to whether or not this should cause them to throw away their beloved books.

Simone Driessen
Arie Kers

Social media plays a big role in cancel culture

Canceling is the "cultural boycotting" of a person. This happens when people feel that the behaviour of the person in question is unacceptable. As a result, music is no longer played, goods are taken off the market, and collaborations are stopped. According to Driessen, the cancel culture is a power play: "Someone seizes the opportunity to ban an artist. Often the victim cannot defend himself at all."

In the BOOS broadcast, there is a very clear power play. "Most people will agree that the transgressive behaviour that happened on The Voice is not acceptable. But that doesn't always have to be the case when someone gets censured."

Social media often plays a big role in cancel culture. "That is what the BOOS broadcast shows. Traditional media probably could never have made this programme. Someone like Tim Hofman can do this partly because of his community on social media. That underlying mechanism makes it very interesting for us scientists. No matter how serious it is what he reports about."

Watch the interview on our YouTube-channel
Researcher

dr. Simone Driessen

More information

Read an article from the NOS about the cancel culture here

Read an article from the RTL News about Lil Kleine here

Read an article from the Telegraaf about Lil Kleine here

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