Age of Outrage: Five moments that caused outrage in 2018

The world is changing. What was acceptable only a few short years ago is now labelled offensive. Social media is full of outrage from those who don't accept the status quo, and from those who won't accept change.

The Age of Outrage is a new series from Newshub exploring the changes taking place in society right now. Is it all PC gone mad? And who, exactly, are the snowflakes? Join the conversation - #AgeofOutrageNZ on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Last year was a great one when it comes to outrage. It seemed as if every month there was new tea being spilled, and new calls for blood. So here's a run-down of five moments that made people the most outraged in 2018.

1. Logan Paul in Japan

Technically, the starting point of this outrageous train-wreck was in 2017. On December 31, 2017, YouTuber Logan Paul visited Japan, specifically Aokigahara - also known as the "Suicide Forest".

Wearing a lurid green Toy Story hat, the 23-year-old and his entourage visited the forest, and tragically found a body hanging in the trees.

Mr Paul proceeded to film the body, exclaiming: "I've never seen a dead person, oh my God". 

He then walks towards the body, continuing to film.

"Yo, are you alive," he asks the body, "Are you f***king with us?" 

"I'm so sorry about this Lo-Gang this was supposed to be a fun vlog," he said.

The video was then uploaded to YouTube - and the internet kicked off. 

It was only up for 24 hours, but within that time it gained six million views - and a landslide of negativity.

On January, 1, 2018 Mr Paul wrote an apology on his phone, screenshotted it, and posted it to Twitter. This served to add fuel to the flames of outrage which were rapidly burning away his career.

His apology was slammed as being "disingenuous", and "a joke".

Celebrities spoke out, condemning Mr Paul; he lost brand deals and subscribers by the second. He was dropped from the Google Preferred Programme, a lucrative advertising network on YouTube.

724,830 people signed a petition calling for his channel to be deleted from YouTube.

In just days, Logan Paul was disgraced, downtrodden and demonetised. YouTube has seen its fair share of controversy, but this one took the cake.

2. Kanye West 

Kanye West seemed to go through a personality shift in 2018 and, in the words of his 2016 single I Love Kanye 

"I miss the old Kanye, straight from the 'Go Kanye, chop up the soul Kanye, set on his goals Kanye."

From the iconic "George Bush doesn't care about black people" speech of 2005, to interrupting Taylor Swift at the 2009 Grammys, to bizarrely becoming Trump's biggest fan in 2018, Mr West has always drawn his fair share of outrage.

But in May of 2018, Mr West made a pretty serious error.

"When you hear about slavery for 400 years..for 400 years? That sounds like a choice," he said during an interview on entertainment site TMZ.

"You were there for 400 years and it's all of y'all. It's like we're mentally in prison."

Twitter exploded with disgust, disbelief, anger and hatred. Mr West was accused of fuelling racism, and right wing ideology.

Mr West responded, tweeting: "Once again, I am being attacked for presenting new ideas."

He later apologised for his comments, but was criticised again for his non-apology.

CBS Chicago noted that, while Mr West apologised for the way his words made people feel, he did not apologise for his comments, nor retract them.

These comments have recently come back to bite him, as he signed a contract that doesn't allow him to retire - and now he's trying to sue.

The irony is not lost on Twitter users, who have exactly zero sympathy for the rappers plight. 

"Well maybe this contract was a know, just like slavery was"

 Karma comes for us all it seems.


3. Roseanne Barr 

Everything was looking up for Roseanne Barr. After a 20-year hiatus, her sitcom of the same name returned to screens - with rave ratings.

Ms Barr was on top of the world but, within two months, it all came crashing down, when she outed herself as a racist, and tried to blame it on drugs.

"If the muslim brotherhood and planet of the apes had a baby = vj," she tweeted, in a nasty, and racist attack on Valerie Jarrett, the African American woman who served as senior advisor to Barack Obama throughout his presidency.

ABC Entertainment dropped her show, and her tweet was to blame.

"Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant, and inconsistent with our values," the statement read.

"We have decided to cancel her show."

She was dropped by her talent agency, her co-workers condemned her, and in a desperate clutch at straws, Ms Barr blamed Ambien.

"Guys I did something unforgivable so do not defend me," Barr wrote.

"It was 2 in the morning and I was ambien tweetin."

No one was having a Barr of it.

Sanofi, the company that manufactures Ambien released their own statement on Twitter, saying "People of all races, religions and nationalities work at Sanofi every day to improve the lives of people around the world," read the statement.

"While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication."


4. Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern

2018 was a great year for shutting down racists - and this, in my opinion, was one of New Zealand's finest moments.

In July, it was announced Canadian far right activists Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern would speak in New Zealand.

There were no grounds to block the pair from visiting New Zealand, so they came. But that didn't mean we were happy about it

After protests, complaints and outrage nationwide, they were banned from any Auckland Council-owned venue. 

Better yet, their speaking event was cancelled. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was "proud" it was evident New Zealanders did not share the vitriolic views held by Ms Southern and Mr Molyneux.


5. Hawera blackface

If shutting down Mr Molyneux and Ms Southern was one of New Zealand's finest moments, then this is a pretty stark contrast to that.

In November 2018 the Hawera Mt View Lions Club was photographed in blackface at the Taranaki town's Agricultural and Pastural Parade.

Age of Outrage: Five moments that caused outrage in 2018
Photo credit: Ngarewa Packer

Yes. Black face.

The float and those on it were labelled "disgusting" and "shameful" by the wider community, and the country as a whole.

The chair of the club then defended its choice, saying it wasn't racist.

"It's a shame we have to apologise for something we were doing that had nothing to do with racism and all the rest of it," Joy Babington told Stuff.

Age of Outrage: Five moments that caused outrage in 2018
Photo credit: File

She said the theme was black and white - hence the black face.

Critics were accused of being "too precious or PC".

Twenty minutes later, the club apologised on Facebook, and then promptly deleted its page.