‘We need to address toxic cancel culture’ — UCT vice-chancellor defends MacG and Sol
University of Cape Town vice-chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng has weighed in on persistent calls to cancel podcasters MacG and Sol Phenduka, saying the culture of “cancelling” people is toxic and hurting young people.
The pair have faced the firing squad several times over their alleged homophobic and sexist comments on Podcast and Chill.
It started when she posted a video of herself on the set of the podcast and told Mzansi she was a “chiller”, or fan of the show.
“Yes I’m a chiller.! I support young South Africans who make bold moves; they are passionate about their craft, they’re not entitled, they own who they are and go out there to make things happen for themselves. Sol Phenduka and MacG, you guys rock.”
Soon she was dragged, with some questioning why she would be on the show.
The vice-chancellor hit back, slamming cancel culture.
“We need to address this toxic cancel culture — it is utterly destructive and shatters the aspirations of many young people. You can't tell me you can cancel another person in good faith; it takes utter depravity to demand the fall of a young person trying to make it out there.”
She said “no-one is born woke” and everyone makes mistakes.
“If you mean well, educate instead of cancelling. Everyone makes mistakes — even the cancel brigade. It is part of life and growth. Just because your mistakes are not public does not mean you don't make them.”
The professor again applauded MacG and Sol for employing young people and inspiring others.
She said she would not cancel them because of peer pressure.
“You expect me to overlook all the positive things and cancel them just because Twitter says so? Count me out, I will not be party to that. No amount of insults and bullying will force me to hate on young people trying to make a difference and disrupting the status quo. I'd rather educate them 10 times — they are very open and willing to learn. If this makes me a villain, so be it.”
She later clarified she was not a guest on Podcast and Chill but was on the show's set while doing a interview with David Mashabela.
The professor had a question for the haters who came for her.
“Are you also disgusted at John Kani who was interviewed on Podcast and Chill?”
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