At the height of the social media era, Twitter fingers have been the collective surveillance of the good, the bad, and the ugly. When thinking of being under the constant eye of public scrutiny, it has become quite common for celebrities to fall headfirst into the dreaded “canceled” category. Whether it be the likes of award-winning actor, producer, and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda or actress Gina Rodriguez or your average suburban Karen, cancel culture holds little room for inequitable mistakes and all the reinforcement for accountability. To say the least, being politically correct is at an all-time high, and how celebrities utilize their platform and fame is just as relevant to their superstardom. “Cancel culture” as it has become known is the premise of a new show on Fuse+ hosted by Dominican singer/actress/reality star Amara La Negra.
“I always talk about opening doors and breaking barriers and I really pray that this is one of those ways that I can continue to inspire and motivate other women, other Latinas, other black women, other Afro-Latinas to feel like they can have that space as well,” Amara tells HipLatina.
The newest show to air on Fuse+, a Latinx-owned streaming network, Don’t Cancel Me is all about discussing the nation’s most pressing issues that people are too afraid to ask. Amara doesn’t hold back, hitting the streets of Miami tackling topics like colorism, sex, relationships, and immigration. The show is an intersection between a kiki with close friends and a heated debate with a stranger and, according to Amara, it’s everything she envisioned and more when ideating the show. “I had the opportunity of linking up with the amazing Fuse team and we spoke about how I wanted a space where I can be honest and transparent – talk about difficult topics in a way that my guest don’t feel like they have to filter themselves because they’re afraid to get canceled” Amara shares.
Don’t Cancel Me gives guests and viewers a chance to widen their perspective, take a new stance, or at the very least learn a few tips. “Honestly the show is so open and touches on so many topics that every episode you’ll learn something new. Even when we talk about sex and relationships, which I think is a very common subject to Gen Z and millennials, we go deep and explore fetishes, making money through OnlyFans, and so much more.”
On the other end of the spectrum, topics like colorism, police brutality, immigration, and what’s currently happening to our Haitian brothers and sisters can pull at strings that are far more connected to our moral compass and can sometimes be tricky for even Amara to mediate. “That’s the hardest part as the host because there are definitely moments where I’m like ‘hell nooo’ but I have to keep it together and try to do exactly what I say. I’m not gonna cancel you, I’m gonna put myself in your shoes.”
Looking back on her career and Afro-Latina identity, Amara says she has a lot to be grateful for when building her confidence and pursuit in activism as she helped flesh out the show. Noting her appreciation for powerful women in the music industry like La Lupe, Olga Tañón, Milly Quezada, and even men like Johnny Ventura who spoke about critical issues in their work. Amara is most inspired by her mother and all the people doing the work behind the scenes. “I find inspiration everywhere I go, even from the cashier at the supermarket and the people who clean the bathrooms. As a daughter of an immigrant mother, it’s about the hard work they put in to give a better life for their families, and that’s what I am really about.” Priding herself in being a voice for the voiceless, being a dark-skin Afro-Latina in Hollywood can still feel exhausting. Disclosing how her Afro-Latin identity has made it much harder to maneuver the entertainment industry compared to her white Latina counterparts. “It’s taken me a long time to be able to be where I’m at today and Lord it hasn’t been easy but I don’t like things that are too easy, I like to know that I worked hard for it – thanks to God and my perseverance.”
With more and more shows making an effort in diversity and inclusion on the front and backend, it is encouraging to see an outspoken Afro-Latina like Amara la Negra holding the mic. There is no cheat sheet out of cancel culture, but the hope is constructive conversation will come as a result of the show. “I hope that they [viewers] find a space through Don’t Cancel Me where they can be open-minded, learn something new, see two sides of a story, and not be judgmental,” she says. “Because of people like myself, activists, and people who fight to break these barriers, not those that are sitting and waiting for change to happen, but those that get up and force that change to happen.”
Don’t Cancel Me is set to air this Wednesday, December 1st on Fuse+