After a long year of their monumental trolling, abject bigotry and outright villainy Joseph Guthrie considers the ten people who should absolutely be cancelled for 2019.
2018: the year where everyone aged ten or twenty years in 365 days.
There were an incalculable number of trending current events in 2018, ranging from the inspirational to the intensely tumultuous or the downright despicable. If you ask me, 2018 will be remembered as much for the villainy that ran amok all over the world, as the public indifference and apathy in response. The latter whilst totally understandable is ultimately unhelpful and obnoxious as praxis.
If 2019 is going to be a year where everyone attempts to better themselves, then there are undoubtedly some people who we need to cut off; lest the dead weight of their mediocrity hold us back from being our best selves individually and collectively.
With this in mind I was compelled to write something I seldom ever do: a listicle of the top ten people we really should leave in 2018, never to be given the satisfaction of free advertising, unmerited attention or overzealous praise for doing the absolute bare minimum.
The criterion is simple: you cannot leave people and/or factions behind if the situation still calls for them to be dealt with or they haven’t taken themselves out of the picture. So this is a list of truly revolting people who have no business ever being mentioned again unless it’s to update us of their being brought to justice or their untimely demise.
Without further ado and in no particular order here are the top ten people we must leave in 2018 never to hear from again!
1. Boris Johnson
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson has always been an aberration in British politics and a blight on humanity but one would go as far to suggest that it is he (not Michael Gove, David Cameron, Daniel Hannan, Aron Banks, or even Nigel Farage) that truly epitomises the Gammon temerity and hypocrisy that makes the racist, xenophobic, and nationalist sentiment behind Brexit that much more ludicrous and intolerable.
Imagine for a moment there’s a cis white “British” guy who despite being a willing foot soldier for the nationalist British right was born in the Upper East Side of Manhattan just opposite of Chelsea Hotel to wealthy upper-middle class British parents. He is then whisked back and forth across the Atlantic – going wherever they pleased without barriers or political resistance – and grows up to attend Eton and Oxford, making ruthless use of the contacts he made during his time at both schools to build up a career in British journalism with the Telegraph and the Spectator before becoming an MP for Henley – a constituency in Oxfordshire he knew very little about – in 2001.
Said man would eventually become Mayor Of London on two separate occasions and then a pivotal figure in the Vote Leave campaign; a campaign, I remind you, that was very much a right-wing reactionary uprising of “controlling borders,” “doing something about immigration,” and “taking back control” of an already sovereign nation. Johnson should’ve been deposed well before his first term as MP of Henley, never mind when Foreign Secretary, but failing upwards is a remarkable phenomenon that keeps saving men like Johnson from being rightfully raked over the burning coals of ignominy.
Now resigned from his post as Foreign Secretary, but recently cleared of wrongdoing by the same Islamophobic cauldron of Gammon known as the Conservative party, this is yet another opportunity to see to it that Boris is well and truly out of the public limelight once and for all. Britain and the world over should ensure the deeply bigoted, over-entitled, ruthless, and calculating American-born immigrant who looks like a cross between Francis from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure and a dirty mop is condemned to the annals of history without fanfare. We have enough on our plate for 2019 and the sentient distraction that is Boris Johnson needn’t be one going forward.
2. Lena Dunham
To be frank with you, dear reader, I was beyond exhausted when The Final Boss of White Feminism managed to score yet another headline in 2018 having not heard a peep from her since 2017. Here I was thinking that there’s no way that the same woman who has mercilessly used her own sibling not only for monetary gain (see: that passage from that book she published in 2014 and how irresponsible and blasé she was in handling the wide-ranging responses to it) but also to capitalise on significant amounts of social capital as well.
Dunham really outdid everything she’s ever done with her White Feminist piece de resistance in 2017: defending her Girls co-writer and executive producer Murray Miller by alleging that Aurora Perrineau – the actress that filed a police report detailing Miller sexually assaulting her in 2012 when she was 17 – fabricated the entire incident in order to extort considerable amounts of money from Miller in November that year. The statement Dunham submitted to The Hollywood Reporter (co-authored by Jenni Konner, the showrunner for Girls) called Perrineau’s accusation “…one of the three percent of assault cases that are misreported every year” and went on to say, “It is a true shame to add to that number, as outside of Hollywood, women still struggle to be believed.”
Since then, Dunham has largely remained quiet as the concerted determination to keep Dunham and her pathetic penchant for attention out of public discourse seemed to be paying dividends… until September 2018 when Dunham reminded us all just how much of a human dumpster fire she is. In her infamous non-apology, she admitted that her “insider knowledge” of Perrineau and Miller was actually “blind faith in a story that kept slipping and changing and revealed itself to mean nothing at all.”
In other words, Dunham lied to defend Miller and discredit Aurora and then turned what was supposed to be a moment of remorse into a distasteful all-about-me performance. There is a lot more I could say of Dunham and the monstrosity that is her contemptuous personality but Heidi Stevens really nailed it when it comes to the definitive reason why Dunham must be left to rot in 2018: “The more we watch, the deeper she digs into her own not-that-fascinating psyche, tuning out the lived experiences and thoughts and pain of other people, except as they relate to hers. Enough. I can’t watch any more. I feel complicit in her marginalisation of literally every person whose orbit she enters. Farewell, Lena Dunham. Please get better soon.”
3. Piers Morgan
Yes, he’s still doing THE MOST on Good Morning Britain but he’s nowhere near the mainstream heights that he was when he was working for CNN or prior to that during the heyday of his post-phone hacking days as editor-in-chief of the Daily Mirror… and that makes him a perfect candidate for this list. The unofficial spokesman for Gammon United, Morgan is as insufferable as he is wildly and willfully ignorant.
His most notable moments this year was the horrendous handling of Novara Media’s impervious journalist and personality Ash Sarkar and his continued overuse of racist, befuddling rebuttals in the wake of immutable facts regarding the plight of Black and brown Britons and their ongoing oppression carried out dutifully by the Metropolitan Police (e.g. stop and search in London, BAME deaths in police custody without the offending officer/officers being held accountable, etc.).
A vocal sycophant of the Tangerine Manbaby Nightmare Fascist-In-Chief, Morgan’s brand of self-aggrandizing promotion of… well, himself is about as desirable to me as his hideous, “sensual” pin-up shot for Burger King on the wall of my den. Morgan really would rather you hate him than, say, act as if he’s dead and for that reason, we should all make a conscious effort to leave his pulled pork-face ass right here in 2018. Apart from anything else, Susanna Reid can do GMB all by herself and ITV could finally make GMB worth watching without having to rely on a dish-faced, self-obsessed racist to generate predictable moments of “controversy.”
4. Ann Coulter
There’s not a year that goes by where the American Ice Queen – if the actual Ice Queen from The Chronicles of Narnia had a more explicit penchant for white supremacy – shouldn’t be banished to the more sordid accounts of history and left there to putrefy and croak but here we are with another golden opportunity to ensure this white walker is de-platformed permanently.
Coulter is the penultimate example of what it means to be a white woman devoted to white supremacy, either out of self-interest and/or political advantage. Despite doing the absolute most to extol the virtues of white supremacy at the behest of white supremacist men, she finds herself unworthy of the reciprocation of loyalty she shows to said men. She is happy to be used as a right-wing propagandist and pundit even if it means her quality of life and women in general are at the mercy of the administrative decisions of men who only really view her existence to an end.
For all of the conservative ideals championed by many a right-wing demagogue (“traditional marriage,” anti-abortion, the degradation of LGBTQ+ rights, sexual promiscuity as a societal ill, especially for women), Coulter has never really found herself in true lockstep with that lifestyle. Her stature as both successful and single is the one most intimidating trait to the kinds of men that she works tirelessly to impress. In truth, her place on this list is less of an intent to roundly mock her and more one that implores everyone else to finally do what should’ve been done several years ago in excising her from all forms of public and political life. We can do it, folks! I just know we can!
5. R. Kelly
Let’s get something very clear before we continue: I’ve long been sick and tired of all the Ankh Right conspiracy theories where men like Nate Parker, Bill Cosby, and Robert “R. Kelly” Kelly are advocated for in the face of the indefensible, but there is a silver lining where Kelly’s demise is concerned. He is *finally* getting a dose of that karmic retribution that he has successfully evaded for entirely too long.
The Horrendous Hebephiliac of R&B has been long overdue for the kind of comeuppance he is finally getting this year, albeit in drips and drabs, starting with major streaming services all removing his songs from their official playlists and him being subject to eviction from two Atlanta-area homes 2 miles apart as he owes over $31,000 in unpaid rent.
If we’re going to continue discussing Kelly and his stomach-turning sex cult in 2019, pass Kelly’s survivors the microphone and give them every ounce of support that you can muster. You can start by tuning into the documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly,” debuting 3 January 2019 at 21:00 ET on Lifetime.
It’s the first of three parts and you can guarantee Kelly isn’t best pleased the truth is about to be told about him and his actions. Like I said earlier, we’re trying to start the new year off right and here is your opportunity. Besides, who the hell is still listening to Bump N’ Grind in 2018?
6. Roseanne Barr
The best way to summarise some of the decisions in reviving certain television personalities that really had no business being anything other than dead to viewers is by using a single word: naïve. NBC were incredibly naïve to think they could be the ones to get a certain former Fox News dignitary to keep the anti-Blackness to a dull roar, but an even worse decision was the one ABC made involving the resuscitation of the once-heralded 90s sitcom Roseanne and giving its creator, Roseanne Barr, another bite at the cherry.
Barr’s inglorious history precedes her – her Twitter account has long been a hotbed for racist, conspiratorial nonsense that would make the most unhinged on QAnon look reasonable. The truth is that much like Bill Cosby and Dr. Huxtable, Barr and Roseanne are two different people. ABC’s insistence that they could keep the creator of Roseanne and the white working-class mother Barr portrayed on telly separate was as credulous as it gets.
Likening any Black woman to an ape is one of the most base and deplorable kinds of racial slurs a white person can utter, but prior to Roseanne being brought back, Barr did the exact same thing to another Black woman who happened to work in the White House under President Obama in 2013.
It should be surprising to absolutely no one that these kinds of immediately disqualifying things are handled so inconsistently in the realm of whiteness that Barr getting her show back and the Tangerine Manbaby Nightmare Fascist-In-Chief getting to become president are the kinds of happenings that become a recurring theme in countries like the United States of America. Now that Barr’s show has been cancelled and her character has been killed off via an opioid overdose in the Roseanne spin-off called The Conners, we can ensure that we never hear from this bigoted, anti-Semitic piece of rubbish ever again.
7. Perez Hilton
Speaking of people who truly have no business ever making headlines in 2018 and who I thought had long completed their journey to Obscurity Central, Mario Armando Lavandeira Jr. AKA Perez Hilton – the embodiment of every non-Black gay man that wishes they were a Black woman – managed to make one last desperate grab for relevancy by giving everyone a nuclear take regarding birthright citizenship in the United States that no one asked for.
In true invertebrate centrist style, Hilton prefaced his endorsement of the Tangerine Manbaby Nightmare Fascist-In-Chief’s intention to end birthright citizenship via executive order by saying “I don’t agree with Donald Trump on many things, but…” and then proceeding to give credence to the very ideology that is antithetical to existing on Earth and in the United States as a “Liberal and Latina.”
It’d be scandalous if we weren’t talking about a man that has made a career out of being the impish “provocateur” that outed LGBTQ+ celebrities for personal gain, but this kind of thing is exactly in line with the kind of self-centred behaviour Hilton is infamous for. Hardly anyone can be surprised this is the kind of worldview Hilton has when he has also said that he hopes his son is heterosexual because “it would be easier” than being homosexual. Further to that, Hilton has refused to sign up his son for dance classes if Mario Jr. requests it because Mario Sr. fears “dance class might make [his] kid gay.”
All this from a gay man that has been a media relations assistant for GLAAD and proof positive that should Hilton be forced back into discomfiture and forgotten by all. This should also underscore the fact that Perez is the kind of gay man that doesn’t really care about any other LGBTQ+ people except himself.
8. Megyn Kelly
If you noticed the thinly veiled reference I made about Megyn “Santa just is white” Kelly in Roseanne’s blurb, congratulations! There are no prizes for correct guesses but congratulations, nonetheless. I digress… 2018 was the year former Fox News darling turned exile Megyn Kelly became acutely aware of her place in the entertainment universe and it all culminated into losing her daytime television programme after her latest attempt to get some anti-Blackness to fly was promptly shot down by her now-former employers at NBC.
It may have been five years ago now that Kelly’s Santa gaffe occurred but for anyone paying attention to the context in which that kind of comment was made (along with how it fits into who Kelly’s penchant for conservative whiteness) this was just a milestone on the road to Kelly’s eventual perdition. Eventually, Kelly ran out of wiggle room to slither her way out of yet another nasty incident of her own creation when she said blackface was “okay when I was a kid as long as you were dressing like a character”
Of course this conveniently disregards the fact that the long history of blackface is built on the premise of white people in blackface portraying Black people in dehumanising ways. See, for example, D.W. Griffith’s *1915* film The Birth of a Nation, which makes very heavy use of blackface and the racist portrayal of Black people.
Perhaps Megyn thought she’d be able to continue doing what she did on Fox News over at NBC but like everything else she’s ever uttered, she was flat-out wrong. Now that she’s off our screens entirely and has been for months, let’s keep it that way.
9. Kanye West
Speaking of minstrelsy, Kanye West’s remarkable recreation of Daffy Duck tap-dancing in that GIF I see doing the rounds in response to Black people allowing internalised racism influence their poor behaviour was something else in 2018.
Musically speaking, Ye was his worst creation since Yeezus, and his bleached blonde look reminds me of the matte black pencils with the colourful erasers you put on top that I had back in school sometimes.
There is nothing about Kanye that is redeemable at this point. Nothing whatsoever. Everything from his recent artistic output as a solo act to his breathtaking self-loathing in the form of political ideology and performance is completely stomach-turning and it would do everyone a world of good if we left Ye right here in 2018.
We truly lost ‘Ye some time ago but 2018 is a poignant reminder that we didn’t just lose Kanye, we saw him mutate into something beyond abominable similar to how your loved one is no longer the person you knew once they turn into a zombie after being bitten by one.
Per Ta-Nehisi Coates: “Stevie Wonder fought apartheid. James Brown endorsed a racist Nixon. There is a Ray Lewis for every Colin Kaepernick, an O.J. Simpson for every Jim Brown, or, more poignantly, just another Jim Brown. And we suffer for this, because we are connected. Michael Jackson did not just destroy his own face but endorsed the destruction of all those made in similar fashion. The consequences of Kanye West’s unlettered view of America and its history are, if anything, more direct.”
10. Katie Hopkins
If we were to refresh the dictionary, one would suggest that we place a picture of Katie Hopkins right next to the word “disgrace.” Truly, there are fewer personalities more reprehensible and ruthless than Katie Hopkins in all the UK to have undergone a more spectacular fall from grace.
However, given her demise since being axed from LBC radio and not even the Daily Mail or The Sun going anywhere near her for some racist and xenophobic scribblings, Hopkins is truly out in the wilderness and just an IVA missed payment away from bankruptcy. Forced to sell her home in Exeter back in March due to losing a rather pricey libel suit to one Jack Monroe. Hopkins, like Roseanne Barr, has a history of commentary that would only warm the cockles of charred heart of a white supremacist and that is more than enough reason to leave her behind in 2018 to decay for all eternity.
But there is a life lesson one can extract from the fable that is Katie Hopkins & The Freedom of Speech. One may be free to say whatever one wants but nothing one says is free from consequence. The woman that once said poor people in debt have no one to blame but themselves is now subject to an insolvency agreement herself having spent hundreds of thousands of pounds in damages and legal costs and she has no one to blame but herself and her rancid mouth. Good riddance.
And there you have it! Ten people we can truly leave for dead in 2018. To those of us that survived, I wish you all a prosperous and happy new year. Celebrate making it through because 2019 promises to be another trying and memorable year. To the vain, abominable and out-of-order people that still need to be dealt with and managed to avoid the list this year, don’t feel too relieved. There’s always next year… and that’s if you’re worth mentioning once karma is through with you.
Joseph Guthrie is a musician, and writer. Originally from south London, most of his education was set in central Florida (United States). When he’s not tending to the IT infrastructure of some company during the day, he’s working on his creative portfolio of music, photography, and literature. He also contributes to music blog Sampleface and recently became a contributor to the gaming site Autosave.Follow @TheAuracl3