Cancel Culture: The Good, The Bad, & Its Impact on Social Change



A few months ago, I was asked to speak about shame and privilege at an event in Santa Cruz, a predominantly liberal and progressive beach town in California. Multiple white women approached me afterwards about their fears to address privilege within their communities or online businesses. One of the comments that stuck out the most was made by a white woman who seemed genuinely interested in being an ally to women of color. “I’m afraid that if I say or ask the wrong thing, I’ll…get…cancelled,” she quietly admitted. 

I spent the next few days thinking about what it means to be “canceled,” specifically how it’s causing people to live in shame and denial as a way of self-preservation — an effort to diminish their chances of being called out. And while I have my own views on white spiritual feminism, it appears to be too easy for most white women to disregard the suffering of people of color.

We live in an era where we expect “wokeness” from our peers, the cultural expectation to be socially aware, particularly in what we speak up against. If you aren’t “woke,” you’re at risk of being “cancelled,” or experience a certain level of “woke bashing.” Cancel culture has infiltrated the very fabric of our society, so much so that some people, like the woman who came up to me in Santa Cruz, are afraid to learn, engage, and speak up. You can’t read the news or flip through a gossip magazine without reading about a celebrity losing a TV show or brand partnership deal (effectively being “cancelled”) as a result of problematic behavior.

Cancel culture has been incredibly effective at combating sexism, racism, or any other type of abuse or harmful wrongdoing to others.

Alexandra D’amour

In my opinion, it’s important to acknowledge first and foremost the good that has come from cancel culture. In the New York Times research piece about cancel culture, Lisa Nakamura, professor at the University of Michigan studying the intersection of digital media and race, gender, and sexuality, defines cancel culture as “a cultural boycott…. It’s an agreement not to amplify, signal boost, give money to.” Essentially, when someone has said or done problematic things, either in the present or past, “the people” have the ability to stop supporting them and their work by effectively “canceling” them. Cancel culture has been incredibly effective at combating sexism, racism, or any other type of abuse or harmful wrongdoing to others. It’s held people accountable for their actions in ways that wasn’t possible in the past. It’s prevented shitty people from getting away with doing or saying shitty things. 

Cancel culture demands social change and addresses the deep inequalities in keeping the oppressed oppressed. In 2016, Hollywood power couple Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith boycotted the Oscars, expressing outrage over #OscarsSoWhite, a movement started by April Reign to address the racial inequalities within the Academy Awards. In 2015-16, all of the actors nominated for lead and supporting roles were white. While the Smiths received some initial backlash for “cancelling” their subscription to the Oscars, it resulted in real social change. In 2019, the Oscars set a record for the most wins by black nominees ever

In a world where we repost moral outrage without the necessary due diligence, it’s important we read between the lines before we effectively “cancel” someone. 

Alexandra D’amour

Political writer Amanda Marcotte posed the begged question in a piece she wrote for Salon, “If we had a justice culture, would we even need to worry about cancel culture?” When we are unable to rely on a justice system to punish those who have committed a crime, or expressed racial or sexist behaviors, we the people turn to cancel culture for retribution. Take Harvey Weinstein, the once mega producer who was able to dodge lawsuits and sexual abuse accusations for over 25 years. It wasn’t until public outcry and pressure through social media, as a result of the #MeToo movement, that the police finally got involved. In 2018, Harvey Weinstein was charged with rape and several other counts of sexual abuse. In this case, cancel culture impacted justice culture. 

Besides highlighting racial and societal inequalities, cancel culture can also have a powerful impact on brands we support and how we consume their products. Diet Prada is an Instagram account that calls out fashion inequalities and copy cats. While it usually pays strong attention to brand replicas, it’s been able to address and combat major issues with fashion powerhouses like Dolce & Gabbana. Their latest #BoycottDolceAndGabbana was a response to the brand’s prejudice and racist comments against the Chinese community. It gained support from Chrissy Teigen and Miley Cyrus, and ended up costing the fashion brand $2M in just a few days. 

As we shift towards a more politically correct society, holding accountable the biggest oppressors, it’s socially expected of us to be more aware about the things we say and the way we act. I believe calling out problematic, deeply hurtful, and damaging behavior positively impacts our society. By being able to express moral outrage, cancel culture has allowed for power dynamics to start to change. The people in power are still mostly white, male, and rich — but people of color, women, and other marginalized folks are finally able to take a seat at the table — taking hold of their power with every tweet. 

If we had a justice culture, would we even need to worry about cancel culture?

Amanda Marcotte

I believe in its positive impact, but cancel culture can also get ugly, and isn’t as black and white as I have just possibly portrayed it to be. We have to allow individuals to learn from their mistakes. “Woke bashing” individuals who are willing to learn and have a desire to be an ally to marginalized communities, doesn’t serve the collective pursuit of equality; it only causes alienation and shame. I believe we need to push for critical thinking, and encourage people to read beyond the headlines and potential media manipulation. In a world where we repost moral outrage without the necessary due diligence, it’s important we read between the lines before we effectively “cancel” someone. 

As Jameela Jamilh tweeted a few months ago: “Nobody is born perfectly ‘woke.’” And we shouldn’t expect people to be. Wokeness a continuous process of learning and unlearning. It’s about showing up, even when it makes you uncomfortable. It’s about turning fear of criticism into impactful dialogue and actionable change. I love that Jameela calls herself a “feminist-in-progress” too. To me, the term represents wanting to create a better and more equal world, while acknowledging progress and the mistakes that will be made along the way. 

After spending a few days thinking about cancel culture, I reached out to the woman in Santa Cruz. 

“I totally understand your fear of being ‘cancelled,’ but what I think is more important is shifting your relationship with criticism. Learn to embrace it. If certain communities call you out, that’s a good thing, it means there’s an opportunity to do more learning and, ultimately, allow more healing and acceptance to unfold. Embracing criticism allows you to be a true ally to people you wish to serve.” 

LET'S TALK: what are your thoughts on cancel culture?



  1. Thinking of writing my dissertation topic and the impact it has on individuals and businesses, and this article touches on all the key areas I want to focus on!

    A lot of articles tend to be black or white these days, but I like the way you wrote this showing both sides of how it can affect people.

  2. It can become very dangerous when people have the right to choose whether you are or are not canceled because they may be offended by something you said or did or worse something they THINK you did… A perfect example would be Michael Jackson… or any other person who says something seemingly offensive in a world/ generation where it feels like the entire USA is a “snowflake”.

    Should I cancel someone for pointing out my difference in race or religion? By asking to touch my hair? or by making an ignorant generalization about my sex or race? No… it wouldn’t be just… but cancel culture has created that weapon… and many use it to say they are “work” when in actuality they’re just throwing a tantrum over something that offended them…

    Cancel culture is like waging war on someone without giving them time to learn or change or even just be…

  3. I think it stops people from getting away from the things they have done, as they only want to say sorry once it is brought up.

    1. There is no set moral behind cancel culture. Anyone can be attacked because when you justify violence anyone can use it.

    2. While that maybe true, if someone does apologize after realising what they’ve done/said is wrong/offensive then people shouldn’t just dismiss it as insincere. Some one making a genuine apology or feeling genuinely sorry shouldn’t be ignored or disbelieved. Contrary to apparently popular opinion. People can, and do, change. Of course, if it’s a situation in which the cancelled party has done something criminally wrong, then they shouldn’t simply be let off by apologizing, although that still doesn’t mean that they aren’t truly sorry.

  4. Cancel culture is only creating larger divides between people. It’s the tool of the white elite to make themselves feel better than others around them. By isolating into a small bubble of progressive and advanced humans they are able to distinguish themselves from the rest. They do not identify as being capitalist as it is everyone else who is capitalist. They are not sexist, as it is everyone else who is sexist. Facebook encourages this behaviour.

    Now look around us. What is happening in society? Trump supporters have grown immensely. There is no “center” to American politics or values.

    The Cancel Kids are wearing blindfolds, and unable to disagree in a civil fashion. They care more to feel better than others than to work with people to advance change.

    1. I agree with you that cancel culture only divides people more. But I don’t agree that it is a tool developed by white people.
      It is a psychological tool developed by extreme left and extreme right in order to pit voters for or againsts the party regardless of the color. It is playing and relying in the ignorance of general population. It is relying on people’s emotions rather than logic. It is relying on lack of facts in history education. It is pitting cultural differences against the humanity that connects us. For what? For a lifetime senatorial (political) priviledges. Remember, the winner writes the history.

    2. I largely agree, one of the biggest problems of our society in general, is its inability to be balanced. We need to find a way to disagree with what’s wrong without becoming problems ourselves. As the old saying goes, “two wrongs don’t make a right”. Although extremists seem to disagree with that sentiment.

  5. I think that cancel culture is very good for when you are targeting actual problematic behaviour like for example someone is being blatantly transphobic *cough* JK Rowling *Cough* or when someone has been very racist *cough* Shane Dawson *cough*. The only reason that it sometimes doesn’t work is that people can get cancelled for very stupid reasons for things that aren’t even that bad, or maybe aren’t actually bad! I think that when used correctly, cancel culture is very good, but when used wrong, it’s toxic…

    1. What really angers me is when people cancel people for no reason other than the media or their peers telling them to. Whether the person has done something wrong or not. At least have some evidence for your decision that isn’t just “but so-and-so is [insert term here]”.

  6. a person shouldnt be stopped from doing creative work over something bad they have done in the past, as long as it doesnt spread the things hes being canceled over. Even Charles Manson shouldve been allowed to create music if he wanted to. Besides, if youve done something wrong in the past, what are you supposed to do then?

  7. I agree I think cancel culture has its pros and cons which either way to a certain extent is okay but someone can be cancelled for a simple thing as how they look or how they don’t fit into societys social standards which I disagree with, or its even something as simple as someone who’s trying to speak up about the BLM movement but because they did something in the past its invalid and they’re all of a sudden cancelled.

      1. Unfortunately, as with everything that is a possibility. But that is also true of the justice system, and any system or practice in which people are punished or reprimanded. There will never be a system in which there is perfect justice and no mistakes. All we can do is try our best to be fair.

    1. Yes, or if they don’t make a statement on every single trending issue they’re suddenly turned and branded a racist, sexist, homophobe, transphobe etc.

  8. People should not have to defend themselves for writing something they wrote when they were in their youth. It’s unfair to apply today’s standards to something that is decades old. Busy-bodied cancellers dig into peoples’ pasts to literally dig up dirt on you… that in itself is wrong. If the saying no one is perfect is true that means everyone is at risk because of this horrifying trend.
    Secondly, once you are targetted you stand a good chance of losing your job no matter how well you defend yourself. It won’t matter if the accusation is false or incorrect. Before you can defend yourself, you’ve already been canceled.
    The article talks about if society calls you out, that’s a good thing because it allows you to reflect and correct yourself… when in fact, if you get canceled you lose your job, your friends, your house. It’s not a good thing when you get turned into a social pariah. The author of this ridiculous article would have us believe that we should embrace losing our jobs and our families… I suggest the author stop drinking the kool-aid and take a good look at what happens to those that actually get canceled.

    1. I agree that things people have done in their past should not be dragged up, as often people have already undergone some sort of reprimand or call out that others just wouldn’t know about. I

    2. I agree that things people have done in their past should not be dragged up, as often people have already undergone some sort of reprimand or call out that others just wouldn’t know about.

      I also understand what you’re saying about the consequences of being ‘cancelled’ whether the accusations are true or not, however I would say that is less a problem with the actual action of someone accusing an individual of something, and more a problem with people nowadays being perfectly happy to jump on the cancelling bandwagon and not bother to check if the allegations are true, or have any substance. I for one try never to spread rumours, or give any information about people unless I have irrefutable evidence that what I am talking about it accurate.

      Another thing is that the people who get ‘cancelled’ are people in positions of fame, people who have the power to influence the thoughts and actions of others. That’s why it’s important for what these people have done or said to be called out. I’m not saying I agree with cancel culture at all, I’m saying I agree that these people in these positions actions do need to be looked into, if there is a possibility that they’ve done someting that could negatively impact hundreds, thousands, in some cases 100s of thousands of peoples actions. People who are of the working class do not get cancelled, which perhaps I’ve misunderstood but that seems to be what you’re implying in your comment.

      If you reply to me, please be sure you read my whole message and try to understand my intentions, and do not focus on one thing you disagree on and attack me. If you would not do that, then that’s fine, but I’m sure you understand why I would be wary of such a thing happening in this day and age.

  9. So I’m doing a essay about Cancel culture and i just want to say this is a very well written piece and i used it on my essay. It was by far my best piece of evidence that Cancel has a negative impact on your mental health and on how you talk to people. Just wanted to say thx for it 🙂

  10. What is the big deal? Hasn’t America always engaged in it? Especially in politics, when candidates get smeared regularly. I think it’s terrific that now the public can weigh in on offensive behavior by people who think they are above the law or not accountable. Let them fight it out on social media and show their true colors. Let them whine about how they have been. exposed or “mistreated.”

  11. I don’t know much about “cancel culture”. However, as I live and become more aware of what goes on in social media (I don’t personally have accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media account), it seems to me that most of the “cancelling” that goes on happens to what some would called very conservative people. Folks who have Christian beliefs really say they are “cancelled” and some of them even talk about having their accounts blocked because of some belief they hold. So if people have very different beliefs, how can cancel culture work because each side will cancel the other because they believe what they believe is correct? Perhaps I don’t know enough about this to even comment. This is just off the top of my head. Thanks.

    1. I definitely agree with this. There is no way to an understanding or peace if we simply ignore anyone who believes different things to us. I was raised a Christian (and still am one currently), so I think I better understand how these people think. One of the prevailing problems of our society is that we shut down or belittle those we do not agree with, and especially people who are atheist I entirely understand why they find Christians hard to understand, but I do not think that is a good reason for the way that many simply refuse to even try and understand them. We, as a sociey need to try and communicate properly.
      Also I’d just like to say that if you have a view on something, you should akways be able to express it. In my opinion your comment does not seem to reflect someone who doesn’t know of the subject, but perhaps as the article mentioned, many simply wish to not speak in fear of being criticized (not that that is how you feel, necessarily) and that needs to be changed. As long as someone is able to communicate clearly to others their opinions, everyone should have a voice, otherwise there is no way for us to learn and grow.

  12. Everything goes both ways, to cancel someone for their own beliefs and what they say is wrong. If this becomes ok then no one is safe because offense is relative. Freedom of speech is the most important thing out there, even the most horrible things should be allowed to be said. Only because someone might think what you say is wrong.

  13. I think you could replace the phrase “cancel culture” with “social consequences” and see the same thing happening. It’s a double-edged sword that if you make your opinions public, people can see them and react according to how they are affected. Most people are aware of this, and regulate their behavior (see also: the social contract.) Some outliers don’t think their actions will come with consequences, and they’re the ones who trend on social media for their BS and subsequent cancellation. Others are conscious that they’re transgressing the status quo, like Colin Kaepernick, and accept the consequences in the name of what they stand for. Still others consciously transgress, and refuse to accept consequences, shouting to the rafters that they should be allowed to transgress without consequence (see: Marjorie Taylor Greene.)
    As long as we are organized into a society, there will be social consequences. As long as our society is inequitable, we will be calling out people who abuse their power and influence.
    Call it what you will.

  14. I was mostly for cancel culture long before it was CALLED cancel culture. Like in the ’60’s.

    But one does have to be careful about when things were said, and exactly what was said.

  15. Straight-white-male, 26, here. I believe that you’re right that “cancel culture”, or more broadly the greater accountability that’s a luxury of our developed information technology, has been effective. I view it as the “pinch” necessary in a free, liberal society. However, I think it’s important to make sure the “pinch” doesn’t devolve into unrestrained use of “the stick”, so to speak. Letting go of the urge to control and punish people ushered in the modern liberal world. Free expression is a very delicate creature, and even a little too much “punishment” can have a strong chilling effect. That’s not what we want. We want people to talk and say stupid things – otherwise, in effect, there is no freedom of speech. If people can’t be “offensive”, there is no freedom of speech. But, as you’ve mentioned, of course it comes with the expectation of criticism and “blowback”. When I express opinions, I sure hope there are people ready to rebut me and tear my argument apart ;). Truth is the prize, after all. We just have to be sure not to get carried away with our dissents, lest they turn into the irrational hate we’re working against in the first place.

    The focus should be on bad conduct or truly hateful speech. It’s difficult to discern the “line”. Cancel culture misses the mark here, and is often destructive. It’s neither precise nor accurate in its current incarnation in the U.S. A transformation to a “constructive criticism culture” would be wonderful.

    I have to acknowledge that I speak from a position of privilege as many less-fortunate groups have been subject to a much harsher and unforgiving cancel culture for a longer period of time (black people, women, in the US, in particular). I cannot understand the pain of sexual harassment or worse, or of racism. I can only draw on my own experiences of being ostracized to try to understand those perspectives, and from conversation with women and POC. So inevitably I only have a partial picture of cancel culture and its “justified” action.

    When I zoom out, I see this phenomenon as another bend on the path of justice. So I retain hope as the pendulum swings to and fro, with the oscillations dampening towards real equality and liberty for every human being.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    1. I agree with a lot of what you say, but I just wanted to nitpick one thing, because I think it’s extremely important in this field of discussion.

      You say you can’t experience sexual harassment or racism as a straight white male. I disagree and I think it does a disservice towards actually trying to achieve equality for all by making comments like this.

      “Not being able to experience sexual harassment as a male” is easy to debunk. Sexual harassment is a wide range of actions, all of which are “unwanted, and generally repeated.” It also can involve boss/employee and other power dynamics and becomes even worse when it graduates to sexual assault and rape. As someone who was coercively raped as a male, it is absolutely possible for men to be victims of sexual harassment. I’ve also seen other male friends be sexually harassed by bosses at work or by other women or men at clubs and bars. Obviously the statistics show that this does not happen as much to men as to women, but it still absolutely happens to men on a very often regular basis. Perhaps you personally have not experienced sexual harassment of any form and that’s fine! You’re lucky. But saying that you can’t experience/understand sexual harassment because you’re a man doesn’t actually help achieve that goal of full equality since these are human experiences that can happen to everyone since it ignores those like myself who are male and have experienced it.

      Racism is a similar conversation, but far more nuanced. I don’t personally buy into the “racism is only predjudice + power” 1970s sociology definition of racism since we can already differentiate between forms of racism simply by adding a modifier to the word. It’s far more helpful to use clear terminology to discuss “systemic racism” or individual “racist” actions. You’re right in some ways; as a white person in America it’s much, much harder (if not impossible) to encounter “systemic racism” so I agree you likely haven’t experienced that. However, it’s absolutely possible to experience racism on an individual level from other individuals or groups regardless of your race. If someone hates you, verbally harasses you, beats you up, kills you because you’re white, black, Asian, or any other race that’s categorically racism regardless. So just like in the sexual harassment discussion above, it’s more helpful to approach these issues from a human perspective since that allows for more inclusive, comprehensive dialogue and reform towards issues that do potentially affect all people

      The reason I wrote this whole post on this issue is that I see this kind of argumentation a lot of “i can’t understand X experience because I can’t experience sexism/racism/etc. because I’m male/white/etc.” The main problem with this argument is that it attempts to elevate more marginalized voices (which is good) while also ignoring those that have suffered the same within the more privileged of the two groups (which is bad). By saying something like “you can’t understand sexual harassment as a man” it spreads the idea that “no men are able to be sexually harassed due to the inherent quality of being a man.” It essentially erases “lesser” suffering. As a society we need to move to a place where we realize that these issues are human issues and that issues like sexism, racism, etc. can happen to everyone. Understanding these as human issues can still address the disparities (such as women being sexually harassed more than men) while still addressing the problem as a whole and being inclusive towards all that suffer in those ways.

      So yes you absolutely can experience sexual harassment/racism as a white male even if the likelihood is lower; it’s more of a question of “have I personally experienced it.”

  16. Do you really think after this article and what’s going on today that anyone would actually provide an honest response to cancel culture??

    The truth of the matter is that people aren’t compelled to focus on embracing equality issues and awareness, instead they only focus on the fear of being punished for accidentally doing or saying the wrong thing with no harm intended. Therefore, change is not organic it’s forced.

    So, cancel culture is apparently more focused on the outcome and doesn’t appear to care if true, organic wokeness is achieved. Because I can tell you that many things and experiences from childhood which would likely now put my in the cross hairs of this movement, we’re not spawned from racial thoughts or beliefs, like playing cowboys and Indians where everyone would play both roles, or dressing up like an Indian for Halloween, watching Jack Benny (you’ll have to Google it) who had a black butler but was a critical part of the comedic delivery. In fact, during most of this time I didn’t even identify people by the color of thier skin but who they were as individuals.

    Now there are all these labels and identifing factors that I must follow or risk being called out as a racist. I must try to remember these rules of engagement and now rather then just take people as who they are I must make a conscious effort to identify thier racial background and label, so as not to make a “mistake” which now can lead to being socially called out, rejected, lose your job, lose friends, etc.

    This to me is not equality but quite the opposite. Race is not respected, it’s feared. What if it’s deemed that celebrating St. Patrick’s Day if you’re not Irish is offensive or Cinco De Mayo if you’re not Mexican? What kind of economic impact would that have on restaurants and bars across the country? I as a child and growing up always had a diverse group of friends and nobody was ever outcasted or ignored for race, they were judged by who they were as a person. If you were a jerk or bully I wouldn’t hang out with you no matter what color you were. But I can tell you that I’ve seen people, organizations, etc. get cancelled for things that I can recall from my childhood and upbringing that had no racial meaning and did NOT influence me in any way to draw racial divides in my thinking and behavior.

    So, in my opinion cancel culture while it may be perceived as effective, is quite immature in it’s judgment and causes more harm to racial classes then good in that it promotes more fear then understanding. It doesn’t allow for organic growth of any kind but forced change our else. People then don’t associate with or choose someone based on thier own merit but instead their “race” (which is more pronounced now than ever) out of fear. If you were or are that person, would you want to know you were selected for something social or professional because of who “you” are or out of fear because of your “race”? I’m of the opinion that cancel culture is creating more racial divide and isolation than unity. Again, this is opinion.

    1. Your first paragraph nails it! Cancel culture forces us to label each other (by gender, race, sexual orientation, class, e.t.c) and compels behavior instead of allowing dialog and learning that allows choosing a behavior.

  17. The biggest problem I find with cancel culture is suppression of speech, which violates the first amendment. With social media available to almost everyone, more and more people are able to share their opinions online. Free speech itself is not dangerous, but can be used to be dangerous, like many things. For example, guns should not be used to kill innocent, they should be used to protect from dangerous people and keep the public safe from physical threats. When social media platforms come together to cancel famous people who have larger platforms because of their fame, I find it morally wrong. If people don’t like what a person is saying, they won’t listen to them, therefore it is unnecessary to cancel them. When someone states a fact, and another person is offended, the person who stated the fact is not at fault for offending the person, because the truth is objective. Cancel culture can be very dangerous politically because it threatens democracy and silenced those with a voice. Silencing someone will not change the way they think, it will only make them angry and fearful. Therefore, I think cancel culture should end, for the sake of democracy and the right to freedom of speech.

    1. Problem is, everyone is afraid to speak because the platforms are permanent. I could be cancelled 30 years from now for something we haven’t even thought of yet.

    2. While I understand where you’re coming from, freedom of speech is the freedom to say what you want. It is not the right to be above the resulting consequences.
      As an example, if you met someone horrible (aka, an asshole) would you want to be friends with them? Likely not. Humans, in general tend to drift towards those who like the same things as they do, see things in the way they see them, It’s simply how we are. What the problem is, is when people cease to be inquisitive, cease to question or try to find out what’s really happened. When people become crowd followers who will just do what they’re told. That’s the danger.
      As someone else in these replies said, who I think put it perfectly, you could replace the phrase “cancel culture” with “social consequences”. That will always be a thing, as long as there is some sort of society or civilization. What we need to stop is people becoming mindless robots, unthinking zombies who just do what they’re told without any thought, logic. reason or evidence behind it.

  18. I feel like cancelling people is done wayyyy too often. If you say something like “I’ll pick white in checkers cause whites move first”, you can risk yourself being cancelled. Said something slightly racist 15 years ago? Boom, you’re cancelled. If you use it right, you can help people be aware of someone doing something horrible, like the CallmeCarson situation where he was allegedly grooming children. Use it incorrectly and you could have everyone hate and shame an innocent person for something they didn’t do. There’s the good, the bad and the ugly uses of cancel culture, and I’ve seen A LOT more of the bad and especially the ugly. I’ve heard of people cancelling others for some tiny stuff which is incredibly stupid in my opinion.
    TL;DR: I think cancelling people for dumb reasons is stupid. Cancelling can be used for good reasons, but it’s often used for small stuff like, 14 years ago.

    1. Exactly, and I find it frustrating how some people don’t seem to understand how attitudes were often entirely different back when someone accused of being racist, for example, said or did something. Yes, it was wrong, but if they’ve apologised and would never behave in that way again, what exactly is the problem?

  19. I think it is a way of convicting someone without a trial. To cancel someone because of how something said made someone feel is despicable. People have complained and labeled people the way they wanted them to be looked at and the way they think the world should view another person. The sensitivity of those born today in the past 20 or so years has created a new generation of pantywaist unable to cope with how to overcome a bad thought or an uncomfortable feeling. All over what they THINK someone else feels about THEM or an idea they have. They use it as a tool to hurt and punish someone and what is going to happen is that those who are for this type of lynching are going to find out the hard way what the repercussions are for participating in such behavior. What they think is a cure will be much worse then the bite. That cure will come back to bite them in the ass.

  20. I wish I had hours to talk and tell you what damage I think your doing to our people..but perhaps god will straighten you out. Cancelling the muppets? Paw you no jobs?

  21. I do support the idea of treating the movement as learning. We all have preconceived notions from how and where we grew up. It should not be offensive to ask questions or open oneself to express a lack of knowledge of experience that can be corrected. Judgments are not welcoming and certainly do not educate. Words have power and meaning, so making sure we communicate in a way that doesn’t allow us to misunderstand each other is good and a reason to educate. For example, the movement to change the language to reflect “disAbled” ( differently abled) rather than the old condecending word “handicapped” which comes frome “cap in hand”… begging for handouts. I hope it’s clear hoe offensive that word was in it’s usage. Society is educated and can change with the simple education abour words that doesn’t become an excuse to bully or call people names on the internet simply because they have accidental ignorance. Explaining the issue can change perception and understanding between all of us.

  22. Depends on the situation. “Wokeness” not only might “cancel” an obvious unjust person or situation that appears hopeless or ongoing, but it also may “read between the lines”, calling on our compassion and forgiveness–if the person or org is honestly willing to change for the better. Not honest and worthy of “canceling”: Donald Trump, Ted Ctuz. Good article, thank you!

  23. I agree on the subsistence of “cancelled” or cancel culture since criticisms are somewhat shaping our minds on how to react to a certain things. We learn to speak and engage to the trends or issues that have been plaguing in the society, and not to be hidden in the burrows of silence. We need to embrace and find the truth even though it would attack the people with false remarks coming from their mouth.

  24. Thank you for an informative article. I agree that cancel culture does force accountability and at times feels very appropriate. However, I think we need to be cautious about using it. Has the person been given a chance to apologize, learn, and grow? (vs. repeat behavior) Also, do we have the story correct and the right individuals identified? Because we can cause great harm if not. A New York Times February 2021 article explores some of the negatives of not having the full story:

  25. Cancel culture is a disgrace. It is a new, acceptable form of bullying. Because someone doesn’t like or accept another persons view or belief, they are publicly bullied and shamed – to the point of losing every achievement someone has worked hard for, whether job, source of income, or friendships. Not to mention the depression and suicides that could result of it.

  26. Cancel culture is basically the insecurity of an individual not comfortable with themselves
    In turn they blame everyone around them for their own inability to cope or accomplish day to day life.
    What they do not see is that they want to force everyone else to conform to their own way of thinking and being
    This is essentially wrong and is also racism and intolerance and is wrong
    If you feel for example are a transgendered, great more power to you, life your life and dreams as you wish, that is your right. But forcing others to say not use gender terms or that they must feel comfortable with a man in a dress next to a firm in a bathroom is wrong
    A true equal society does not force its wants, desires or actions on another from one sides perspective. If I want to be called Mr. Or that I want to call my son, son, that should be my right. If you do not like it, that’s your own insecurity about yourself

  27. It’s 2021.. Think this is a new Phenomenon ?? Back in the early 60’s, John Lennon of Beatles” fame, once made the remark: We are more popular than gawd..!? This is around 65-66?.. And the US religious zealots LOST their collective minds ! Rallies were held to BURN Beatles records, magazines, collectibles….huge piles of these items, reminiscent of the “book burnings” in Nazi, Germany.. Yet, most of these “religious zealots” went on to imbibe mountains of Pot, Peyote’, LSD, and assorted other drugs in defiance of their religious directed parents.. The ONE MAJOR difference in today’s attitudes are that, these attitudes will CERTAINLY lead to the eventual collapse & downfall of America…..

  28. My thoughts on cancel culture… it’s the stupidest thing to ever happen in the world. So what someone says something that offends you?! It’s called getting over it or are you too much of a cry baby that you have to go cry to whoever will listen so you can get your way. YOU are the problem in this country. YOU are the reason that everything going on is happening. If someone says anything that you don’t agree with, it’s racist. You need to look up the term racist… Racism is the goto if you feel like you are loosing a battle or discussion of another topic. Your feelings don’t matter if what is being told is the truth, fuck your feelings. You are just a microscopic dot on a larger scale. Know your place, stop crying, fuck your feelings, build a bridge and get over it!

  29. I hear conservative voices decrying “cancel culture”, but don’t they do it, also? Remember Freedom Fries? Or conservative boycotts of products (none comes to mind at the moment)? What about some of the celebrities that report a change in lifestyle such as gender or sexual preference? Are there examples of “cancel culture” from the ultra-cons in that situation?

  30. Cancel Culture is threatening, and pushes for people/businesses to do better. That’s great. Give the people an opportunity to learn to do better too. To discover the tools and start to become better allies. That doesn’t happen consistently overnight, but it does one post/social interaction at a time. Aknowledgmemt of growth is necessary.

  31. Her fear is valid as the costs aren’t just social. People are subjected to physical violence, lose jobs and can’t get new ones. We are regular people who can no longer participate in discussion or debate because someone has to pay the bills and buy the groceries.

    And cancel culture has gone overboard finding issues where none existed.

  32. Cancel culture is not good i got cancelled infact over something i didint do !I completly get the other side of the story but it can be very damiging to society. Pepole just cancel pepole over who they like or hate, Johnny depp is a prime example.. I cant take this artical serously..

  33. I don’t understand this cancel culture thing. You can’t erase the past you can only learn from it and grow from it. But if people just want to erase everything they don’t like we live in a robot world where it is only one way to think no one has there own personality and everyone is scared to interact with people because of the repercussions.

  34. Cancel culture is nothing more than an attack on freedom of thoughts and freedom of speech. For growth and change there must be discussion and mutual respect. When people are cancelled and they are removed from the table – there is no exchange of ideas. They are locked out and punished like a two year old sitting alone in a corner. This immature way of punishment may bring forth a false apology to gain back social media forgiveness but it doesn’t allow for discussion and true growth. The generation that believes in loving everyone and accepting everyone is in reality cruel and unforgiving. Forgiveness and love brings about change far more effectively than anger and exclusion.

  35. I think it’s good and bad, depending on how it’s used. This article has clearly highlighted situations in which it’s been useful.
    The problem with it, or the problem I have with it, is that there are too many people ready to read a comment or the title of an article saying something negative about someone, and then, without researching or trying to understand exactly what has happened, or give the person a chance to explain themselves or apologize, jump on social media and start bashing/cancelling the individual. I think that too many people nowadays are crowd followers and that is the direct result of cancel culture.

    I remember in my younger life, my Dad would often make snide remarks about political correctness, for example, I remember an instance when I bought a gingerbread “man” and the packaging called it a gingerbread “person”. My Dad looked affronted and muttered something about “ridiculous political correctness”. I didn’t mention it at the time, as I didn’t think it was necessary, but there have been points in my when I have bothered to talk to him about certain things he’s said that I either do not agree with or have offended me, and while he may not agree with everything I think, he recognizes why I, as female, find it… not quite ‘offensive’, but… annoying when things are unecessarily gendered. He still does it sometimes, but more as a habit than anything else. I will just tut or roll my eyes at him or retaliate with “ridiculous gendering” and it’s no longer a problem, for me or him.

    My point in relating this anecdote is that in my opinion the way to solve a lot of the world’s problems is through polite, respectful, but firm conversation with each other, and the ability to be open-minded towards others views. Instead of child-like, immature insults and name calling, tantrums, toxic behaviour and refusing to listen to anyone who disagrees with us, we need to communicate with people. Many problems are caused as a result of miscommunication, misunderstandings, and narrow-mindedness, when THEY DON’T NEED TO BE. Half the people in this world are too sensitive, and the other half aren’t sensitive enough.

    I apologize if I have somewhat wandered from the main theme, but I don’t think I’m entirely off-topic (hopefully), and this is where my thoughts ended up. Thank you, if you’ve read this, and I would like to request that while you may not agree with everything I’ve said/wrote that you might atleast think about it, and try not to default to uncivil behaviour the next time you end up in a conversation with someone or some people who do not share your opinions/views.

  36. Will probably b3 “cancelled.”
    I read the majority of responses to this well
    written article to be critical and condemning of “cancel culture.” Considering it seems to be the primary political tool of the right and conservatives, I am left wondering what the racial and gender breakdown of respondents might be. Also wondering what actions are being taken to support conciliatory/mediation/forgiveness approaches. Love the thoughts but not seeing viable options for solution. If each of us, makes a plan and delivers on it to be active in a cause, we can make a difference. I believe any person or organization displaying harmful or damaging opinions and/or actions warrants punitive consequences. The fact that the injustice, oppression, and violence we face today is centuries is because appropriately punitive actions have not been made to end racism, misogyny, condemnation based on sexual orientation, religion, and justice and the violence those atrocities have always and continue oppressing our people. All of the horrors originate from white superiority and racism. Why are we rationalizing continuing to accept it as our culture and not actively “cancelling” theses travesties? We will not grow unless we tell perpetrators their behaviors and words are not acceptable in this culture.
    Thanks to the author for this opportunity.

  37. I was really hoping i could find some good information from this website, but I could not take any because it doesn’t show the time it was released, Disney say who published, it only shows the author. So I don’t know if this is fact or opinion, then I kept reading and she or him kept saying that its there opinion. Seems like a good website for just reading, but I wouldn’t recommend pulling information from this website. Thank you

  38. I think cancel culture was once a good thing, a way to uplift the voices of people like rape victims, bipoc, and the lgbtq+, but now it’s turned into people talking over those minorities, and canceling people for things they have no reason to be cancelled for. It has turned the definition of “woke” from being a person who wishes for equality, into a white knight who speaks over others in the hope of looking good. they arent even trying to hide the fact that they arent doing it for the equality, just for a “trend” to be woke. its sad to because i think it could’ve been something great. (also the problem is from both sides- people calling others “snowflake” and names, as well as calling people racist and homophobic for asking a question.)

  39. i think that cancel culture can be good and bad i feel that a lot of the time people who cancel another person are very insecure and try to make themselves feel better on social media

  40. I think cancel culture could benefit our society if approached more gently. Think of cursive writing, for example. Nobody needs to use it anymore, and most historic/law documents written in cursive have been printed. Cursive takes time to teach and essentially wastes people’s time to decipher who don’t know it, so cancelling it would be best. Of course, the elderly people who were forced to learn cursive will be the ones who are mad because they spent so much time learning it. But they are biased; their opinions literally would not benefit the advancements of society and therefore would (rightfully) be cancelled. Is that wrong or right? Is the question now.