These days, if a celebrity’s name is trending on Twitter, the morose truth is they’ve either died or angered a whole bunch of people. It’s so common that there’s a joke often bandied about on the social media site every time it happens: “Just checked in to see why [random celebrity] is trending. Thought s/he was dead. That would have been better.”
Everyone is one misstep away from being “canceled,” an amorphous Internetspeak phrase that can mean everything from being rightfully fired from a job and boycotted by fans for doing something horrific to being yelled at a bunch on the Internet by people with progressive politics.
Either way, there aren’t many luminaries left in the land of celebrity, yet two unlikely heroes have emerged.
Yes, we’re talking about Bill and Ted, who are having an excellent adventure in woke culture. At least, the actors who play them are, both having recently emerged as examples of how people “should” act. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter have been whatever is the opposite of canceled.
A quick catch-up for anyone who had a little too much, erm, fun while catching the original films: In 1989′s “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” the pair of high school rockers who are failing history class travel through time to write an A+ paper, only to discover that the music of their band Wyld Stallyns inspired a utopian future. Its sequel, 1991′s “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey,” has a plot too complicated to type out here, but just know it involves evil robot doppelgängers, more time travel, God, aliens and giving Death a melvin (reverse wedgie). A third entry, titled “Bill & Ted Face the Music,” is set to come out next year.
But for now, Reeves and Winter are being hailed as a pair of progressive heroes. The sad part is they’re doing so by just doing and saying decent things.
Reeves was already in the midst of a Keanussance thanks to the popularity of his John Wick franchise and the perception that he is an all-around good dude. But recently he made news for … dating a woman in her 40s with gray hair. Really. Artist Alexandra Grant, 46, is close in age to 55-year-old Reeves (if by “close” we mean she’s not quite a decade younger than him). A headline on Vox declared: “Keanu Reeves is dating a woman close to his own age. Why is that so shocking?” The simple answer is that male celebrities often date younger women.
“The View” even did a whole segment on Reeves’ love life in which Joy Behar pointed out that “Hugh Hefner was 60 years older than his last wife.”
Then on Saturday, Winter made waves by pointing out “cancel culture” is a silly term that essentially means people should (and likely will) face consequences for their actions. He also said that supporting someone who has done something horrible just because they happen to make good art is a sign of “cowardice.” Again, very simple.
“The term Cancel Culture is a bad faith fallacy. There’s only Consequence Culture, it’s long overdue and most of the exposed predators have yet to face meaningful consequences,” Winter tweeted. “The support of ‘great artists’ and ‘cultural titans’ who also happen to be monstrous predators is not a sign of high breeding but complicity and moral cowardice,” he added before posting links to several organizations such as Time’s Up, 1in6 and RAINN.
The thread blew up, earning more than 7,000 retweets and 32,000 likes.
One user tweeted his appreciation to the actor: “Thank you! Most of the outrage concerning Cancel Culture seems to be focused on how the lightest offenders are punished the same as the worst offenders. Since the baseline is warped people get to say it’s not fair is being punished as harshly as Y when Y is clearly a monster.” Musician Grimes also got in on the action, tweeting, “This is what being excellent to one another looks like.”
Sure, it might be a little sad that acting decently is what it takes to be a hero in today’s world. But it’s nice to know we’ve got Ted “Theodore” Logan and Bill S. Preston, Esq. – err, Reeves and Winter – out there keeping it real.
Party on, dudes.
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