As the phrase "cancel culture" becomes a regular part of the cultural lexicon, more and more famous people are facing consequences as a result of actions in their recent or distant pasts. Although you can argue about which "cancelled" celebrities actually deserved their backlash, the trend is undeniably powerful. The emergence of a petition designed to ban TikTok user Onlyjayus from the platform is just the latest example of it, and one that's worth closer examination.
Why is there a petition to ban Onlyjayus from TikTok?
Onlyjayus, whose real name is Isabella Avila, is a TikTok user with 13.5 million followers on the platform. Isabella is from Las Vegas, NV, and is known primarily for posting comedy sketches and fact-based videos to their channel. They also have prominent followings on platforms like Instagram and YouTube. Now, there's a change.org petition to get them removed from TikTok altogether.
According to the petition, Isabella is facing "cancellation" because they has been “called out multiple times for mistreating disabled creators and creators of color." The petition also says that Isabella promised to "lift black voices" and share their platform with "creators of color," but that they failed to do either of these things.
"Many creators have come together to get OnlyJayus off the app as they have been outed for ignoring emails and messages from content creators of color to do collaborations with them to help rectify the situation," the petition continues.
The petition also says that Isabella's previous apology for past problematic behavior was written by a ghost writer, which has now been removed from her page.
Isabella isn't taking the petition too seriously.
Although the petition has thus far picked up more than 30,000 signatures, Isabella doesn't seem all that worried about it.
“So someone started a petition to get me off tik tok 💀 I’m soooooo scared,” they joked before adding: “But Fr tho this s--t is funny. Good luck getting more than 13.5M signatures ig.”
Although they don't seem to be taking the petition seriously, there are plenty of users on Twitter who are encouraging their followers to sign it.
“If you’d like to help to get them removed from TikTok, here is a link to a petition," one user wrote." You can share, or donate to spread this petition around. We don’t need creators like OnlyJayus ruining TikTok for so many people.”
Although the petition is a sign that there is some passion around getting Isabella removed form TikTok, it's unclear whether that support alone will be sufficient.
Isabella certainly doesn't seem to think the movement to get her kicked off will ever reach the size necessary to lead to actual change. Regardless of what comes of the petition, though, it's worth noting that much of Isabella's massive following seems to be happy with the content they post.
Petitions to get users kicked off of TikTok may be effective, but TikTok is an inherently democratic platform. If Isabella lost followers and received fewer views on her videos, that would be a punishment all its own.