Eminem was recently the target of a cancellation attempt for a lyric from “Love the Way You Lie”, his 2010 hit featuring Rihanna. After seeing the story, Slipknot singer Corey Taylor compared the situation to the Salem witch trials.
As the story goes, a group of Generation Z TikTok users apparently attempted to cancel Eminem for “Love the Way You Lie” line, “If she ever tries to f**king leave again/ I’mma tie her to the bed and set this house on fire.”
Eminem responded by sharing a lyric video for his 2020 song “Tone Deaf”, which contains the lyrics, “I won’t stop even when my hair turns grey (I’m tone-deaf)/ ‘Cause they won’t stop until they cancel me.”
Taylor, seeing the story make headlines this week, brought up the topic when speaking with Matt Pinfield on Los Angeles’ 95.5 KLOS radio. “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,” remarked Taylor. “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.”
The Salem witch trials, of course, were an infamous episode in American history in the late 1600s, where hundreds of people were accused of practicing witchcraft. Nineteen of those people were executed by hanging.
The Slipknot frontman continued, “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 sakes. 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 out rage. … If we can’t understand the difference between metaphor and complete reality, then we’re in real trouble.”
Taylor, who has written a number of books, said that the topics of social media and “cancel culture” may inform his next book. “It’s starting to really kind of form in my head,” Taylor said. “I may actually write it soon. Because it’s really kind of out of control out there right now.”
Watch Corey Taylor’s conversation with Matt Pinfield below. The topic of cancel culture begins at the 18:40 mark.