film / tv / substack / social media / lists / web / celeb / pajiba love / misc / about / cbr
film / tv / substack / web / celeb

calloway.png

Caroline Calloway Is Entirely Cancelable

By Chris Revelle | Celebrity | July 17, 2023 |

By Chris Revelle | Celebrity | July 17, 2023 |


calloway.png

In ancient Athens, there was a process known as “ostracism.” This was a democratic process by which any citizen of Athens of any station could be exiled by popular vote for a period of 10 years. While this was seen as an expression of public outrage, it was also used pre-emptively to expel potential despots, demagogues, or tyrants. While ripe for abuse, this process feels downright refreshing in its ability to draw a strong line and stick to it.

The concept of “cancellation,” the overused and played-out term we use for layperson efforts to hold public figures accountable for the things they do and say, is a fraught and somewhat false one. American society never truly “cancels” anyone; that would require a buy-in to the social contract and a collectivist spirit that we lack. To the extent we “cancel” anyone, the canceled need only to rebrand as a MAGA comedian like Louis CK and win a Grammy or become the same like Roseanne Barr and get multiple people explaining how her calling for Jewish people to die en masse was just “sarcasm.” To say they’re un-cancelable is more a statement of our refusal to see their shunning through than any one trait the canceled possesses.

This brings us to Caroline Calloway and her coverage on 60 Minutes Australia. In this story that details her dishonesty and yet applauds her for being honest about it after the fact, we see this strange push and pull between reporting on the various scams she’s run and the notion that we’re meant to find this charming or “beguiling” as the video insists.

To be clear, Calloway is entirely, extremely cancelable. She’s given us reasons upon reasons to write her off, yet the siren song that seemingly comes pouring from the mouths of mediocre white people is just too strong. As you’ll see above, 60 Minutes Australia doesn’t shy away from discussing her various vacuous grifts and lies, but it seems quite tickled by them. While she clutches a cat in a knit cap and talks about how animals just want to be adored, the interviewer laughs and grins, just too taken with the performative cutesiness. Even after they’d detailed her parade of asininity that we call her “career,” she’s given the last word so we can get a goodbye from her cat.

That Calloway continues to command this fawning, aw-shucks treatment when she’s openly admitting to having scammed us only furthers what we knew: white people will get away with everything. With enough privilege and a fluffy animal with twee headwear, you too can be famous for being a lying scammer and somehow loved for it. The media apparatuses of the world are only too happy to give the brittle likes of Calloway, Anna Delvey, and Billy McFarland the softest of focuses. If we have to talk about these under-talented dumdums, the least we could do is keep their nature as scammers in focus. As the 60 Minutes Australia piece claims, Calloway puts the “artist” in scam artist, but does she really? It seems more like coverage of her is only too happy to do the spin for her. It must be worth selling her bullshit to everyone on a news program to keep getting access, but with Calloway, what is being accessed that you can’t find with the usual privileged white person who went to an expensive school? This continued selling of Calloway insists there is something compelling about a white woman who lies all the time and gets celebrated for it. We can cancel Calloway, but as long as white mediocrity is prized over excellence of any other color, we’ll never see it through.