This week saw tweets by fitness influencer and popular Youtube vlogger Whitney Simmons unearthed which caused controversy. Originally tweeted back in 2014, Simmons would have been around 19 or 20 years old at the time. Obviously, this was long before she became famous. Here, she wrote “I forgot how many Asian people live in Cincinnati and how absolutely awful Asians are at driving.”
Due to her lack of public attention at the time, the comment only garnered 3 retweets and 10 likes – which isn’t too surprising considering this was long before her popularity took off. See the screenshot below:
It goes without saying that this tweet is racially insensitive and plays into a negative stereotype. However, fans were quick to defend the star and wrote on social media, “It’s a bad thing to say but pulling up tweets of tasteless jokes from a decade ago like it’s some kind of gotcha moment is lame tbh. People are allowed to grow.” and “It’s a shitty thing to say but pulling up tweets of tasteless jokes from a decade ago like it’s some kind of gotcha moment is lame tbh. People are allowed to grow.”
So, it will be interesting to see how this one plays out. On the one hand, cancel culture is still in full force, and we may see an apology from Simmons at some point. On the other hand, it looks as though many people don’t really care due to the age of these tweets that happened years ago. Looking at this on a wider note, it does make for an interesting debate as to how long is too long for someone to be punished for comments made years ago.