Do “Canceled” Celebrities Like Chrissy Teigen and Ryan Adams Get to Publicly Feel Sorry for Themselves?

Teigen recently posted that joining the "cancel club" has taken a toll on her mental health

Chrissy Teigen
Chrissy Teigen attends the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
Getty Images for The Recording A

Just about a week after Ryan Adams began posting on Instagram about how he’s been in a pretty bad place since the 2019 allegations against him first surfaced, another celebrity who has fallen out of public favor as a result of problematic behavior has taken to the social media platform to address the way joining what she describes as “the cancel club” has impacted her mental health.

Chrissy Teigen lost several deals with brands carrying her line of cookware, as well as a planned voiceover role on Netflix’s Never Have I Ever back in May after reality star Courtney Stodden (who is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns) accused her of cyberbullying them and sending messages encouraging them to commit suicide. She has since posted two lengthy apologies on Medium, but apparently she’s still feeling the emotional effects of being publicly shamed.

“I don’t really know what to say here … just feels so weird to pretend nothing happened in this online world but feel like utter s*** in real life,” she wrote on her Instagram on Wednesday. “Going outside sucks and doesn’t feel right, being at home alone with my mind makes my depressed head race. But I do know that however I’m handling this now isn’t the right answer. I feel lost and need to find my place again, I need to snap out of this, I desperately wanna communicate with you guys instead of pretending everything is OK.”

“Cancel club is a fascinating thing and I have learned a whollllle lot,” Teigen continued. “Only a few understand it and it’s impossible to know ’til you’re in it. And it’s hard to talk about it in that sense because obviously you sound whiney when you’ve clearly done something wrong. It just sucks. All I know is I love you guys, I miss you guys, and I just needed an honest moment with you because I’m just … tired of being sick with myself all day,” she continued. “I don’t even know if it’s good to say any of this because it’s gonna get brutally picked apart but I dunno. I can’t do this silent s*** anymore! If you or someone you know has also been cancelled please let me know if there is a cancel club reunion because I could use some time off my couch!”

We never want to make light of mental health issues, and if Teigen and Adams genuinely are suffering from depression or other mental illness, we hope they’re getting the help they need. But regardless of what’s actually going on with them, it’s hard not to feel like these are calculated moves to drum up sympathy in an attempt to get back in fans’ good graces. And as harsh as it may sound, it’s difficult to feel that bad for them as they reap what they sowed. Being ostracized as a result of your terrible behavior is no doubt lonely and upsetting, but it’s also the natural consequence of your own bad choices. Teigen hit the nail on the head when she pointed out that “Obviously you sound whiny when you’ve clearly done something wrong.” If her punishment — a brief timeout from being one of America’s most beloved celebrities — is so damaging to her mental health, imagine how the person she harassed and told to kill themself must have felt.

That’s the problem: however genuinely remorseful and upset with themselves they are, “canceled” celebrities throwing themselves a public pity party on social media is always going to come off the wrong way. It looks inconsiderate to the victims of their abuse, it reads as a less-self-aware version of that “well well well, if it isn’t the consequences of my own actions” meme, and people are always going to doubt the intentions behind it. And in most instances, the backlash is temporary. As we’ve said before, no one is ever truly “canceled”. (Even Bill Cosby has reportedly been able to find a few comedy clubs that are still willing to hire him.) Is simply laying low for a while and riding it out the scandal before it eventually falls out of the news cycle really that difficult? The best apology is changed behavior, and Teigen would no doubt have a better time winning back fans if she posted about, say, some anti-bullying campaigns and charities instead of highlighting her own pain. This is a rough time for her, no doubt, and she should absolutely discuss her feelings about it with a therapist or other members of her support system, but to post about it publicly comes off as tone-deaf and insincere.

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