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Why are some Stranger Things fans now trying to 'cancel' Metallica?

Metallica backstage at the Golden God Awards in 2013
(Image credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Since Metallica's Master Of Puppets was included in the final episode of Stranger Things, the metal legends have been rocketing up charts worldwide, becoming something of an obsession for a whole new generation of fans who are discovering the band for the very first time.

Last month, the band welcomed their new fans into the "Metallica family" on TikTok with a wholesome anti-gatekeeping message.

Alongside this new outpouring of fandom, however, a spotlight has been shone into Metallica's past, which has led some of the TikTok community to draw attention to historical incidents where allegations of problematic behaviour were levelled at the band, including allegations of racist behaviour. Some are now going even further and demanding that the quartet be 'cancelled'.

The situation was propelled into the viral stratosphere by Serena Trueblood (opens in new tab) who, as part of her ongoing series Is Your Fav Problematic, created a video that centred around examining previous attitudes and behaviour attributed to the Cali metal heavyweights. Her TikTok series analyses various musicians and bands to detect whether – you guessed it – they're 'problematic', or an 'appropriate' artist for the community's fandom.

Fans in the comments appear divided, with some stating that they feel shocked and disappointed in response to the video, while others put forward the argument that Metallica should be granted the opportunity to "grow and change" and not have their past held against them, also arguing that some of the sources used within the video aren't reputable and may be problematic in themselves (it's also worth noting that one brief clip involves a Dave Mustaine comment filmed years after he left Metallica).

One user declares that "there isn't a single non problematic band/artist out there in existence. when y'all realize that, you can finally have peace."

The video has now made its way onto Twitter's radar, with many users responding to the claims and taking screenshots of the comments, expressing regret that numerous new fans are now troubled over their recent Metallica merchandise purchases.

A portion of Twitter users are commenting on the TikTok conversation with humour, with one user writing: "there’s no way ppl are trying to cancel metallica bro LMFAOOOOOOOOOOOOO im sorry but gen z can never just let themselves enjoy anything. don’t look up any other metal bands from the 80s or you’ll give yourselves a heart attack".

While another says: "i need to stop letting eddie stans get under my skin because they're the same people who are green screening themselves kissing eddie and roleplaying screaming at jason and trying to cancel metallica."

See some of the reactions to the issue below.

Metallica recently wrapped up the latest European leg of their Worldwired world tour, and play a couple of US dates later this month.

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Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music. '10 bands that rip off Black Sabbath but get away with it' is her favourite article she's written with Louder so far. When not writing, Liz enjoys various creative endeavours such as graphic design, as well as reading about rock’n’roll history, art and magic.  

With contributions from