Richa Chadha Has Apologised For Her Joke About Bipolar Disorder. We Need More People Like Her
Almost every other day, the internet is taken over by a heated debate about ‘cancel culture’. For those who aren’t acquainted with the term, cancel culture is the practice of ‘cancelling’ someone for their problematic behaviour which may or may not be intentional. A typical target of this would be named and shamed on the internet, get post after post of hate, and have their justifications thrown out the window irrespective of whether they are valid or not. In many recent cases, celebrities have been ‘cancelled’ for something they did years ago when they just didn’t know any better. Old tweets and videos resurfacing has become anyone’s worst fear. Cancel culture is extremely toxic. We need to do better. But that doesn’t change the fact that people need to take responsibility for their problematic and hurtful actions.
Richa Chadha has set an example by doing exactly that. In a tweet posted on 29th June, she apologised for making a joke about someone being bipolar a year ago.
I think last year I made a joke about someone being 'bipolar'.The joke was borne out of a petulant desire to seem witty in even less than 280 characters. As I am now only beginning to grasp what #mentalhealth means, I just want to apologise and couldn't have said this sooner!
— TheRichaChadha (@RichaChadha) June 29, 2020
“I think last year I made a joke about someone being ‘bipolar’. The joke was borne out of a petulant desire to seem witty in even less than 280 characters. As I am now only beginning to grasp what #mentalhealth means, I just want to apologise and couldn’t have said this sooner!” she wrote.
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The old tweet in question said this:
अरे ई हमरा फैजल तो बाईपोलर निकला बे !
— TheRichaChadha (@RichaChadha) December 27, 2018
(Translation: “Oh, my Faisal turned out to be bipolar!”)
A lot of positive replies and retweets from her fans followed. Twitter seemed to be extremely proud of her for owning up to her mistake, and so are we! Keep in mind that she wasn’t called out or ‘cancelled’ for the joke. She realised herself that it was problematic, and instead of letting bygones be bygones like most people would have, she chose to apologise for it.
It takes a lot of courage to do what Richa did. As we bring conversations about mental health to the forefront, it is important to recognise that we have all been insensitive in some way or the other. The trivialisation of mental illnesses has been the normal for so long, that most of us have been guilty of making offensive comments and jokes. We all need to take out the time to truly reflect, educate ourselves, and own up to our mistakes. That’s the only way to move forward and grow.