Corey Taylor Discusses Gen Z “Trying To Cancel Eminem,” Likening It To Salem Witch Trials
Besides fronting Slipknot and Stone Sour and now performing as a solo artist, Corey Taylor is also a New York Times bestselling author. He’s written four books with titles such as A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Heaven (Or How I Made Peace With The Paranormal And Stigmatized Zealots & Cynics In The Process) and America 51: A Probe Into The Realities That Are Hiding Inside “The Greatest Country In The World”, and in a radio interview today, he teased the subject of his fifth: the dreaded “cancel culture.”
This subject came up with regard to Eminem, who has been taking heat from young TikTok users in recent weeks. One Gen Z poster launched a campaign to “cancel” the rapper, citing lyrics from his 2010 Rihanna collaboration “Love The Way You Lie.” Specifically, she drew attention to the line, “If she ever tries to fuckin’ leave again, I’ma tie her to the bed and set this house on fire,” a line rapped from the perspective of a domestic abuser. This caused users across TikTok and other platforms to re-litigate a debate that has been raging since long before the advent of social media. Eminem ultimately responded with a lyric video for “Tone Deaf” from last year’s Music To Be Murdered By — Side B, highlighting the line, “I won’t stop even when my hair turns grey/ ‘Cause they won’t stop until they cancel me.”
In an interview with LA radio station KLOS today, Taylor addressed the Eminem situation, alluding to the Salem witch trials and the Ku Klux Klan and asserting that if people “can’t understand the difference between metaphor and complete reality, then we’re in real trouble.” Here’s more:
I was just reading about how Gen Z is trying to cancel Eminem because of one line that was in a Rihanna song that he did with her. And I’m just like, “Is that where we are right now?” I mean, at this point, you’re talking about the Salem witch trials. You’re talking about America in the ’20s where the KKK was like a political force. You’re talking about complete condemnation without context or any rationalization for an action like that.
To me, that’s the most dangerous — when the mob decides that you’re gone. I mean, that is Caesar at the Colosseum, for God’s sake. That’s when it’s dangerous. The level of censorship that we’re starting to see — and I’m not saying that certain things haven’t been said that easily offend people. However, the flip side of that is that you can’t even make a joke anymore, even in the cleanest of situations. I mean, they completely turn on you. And there’s not one hint of satire, no hint of irony — it’s just all outrage.
Now, whenever anyone brings up “cancel culture,” it’s good to examine whether they’re speaking out in good faith or just glibly trying to stoke outrage in a culture war and help powerful people avoid accountability. It is also probably a good idea to hear people out when they raise concerns about a societal trend toward censorship rather than mindlessly repeating “cancel culture doesn’t exist” ad nauseam. So, does Taylor have a point, or nah?