An Overview of Cancel Culture

Social media has paved the way for cancel culture to gain momentum and make an impact.

You usually hear about the cancellation of meetings, flights, or a show, but social media has given people a chance to cancel celebrities, politicians, brands, amongst other things. 

Social media allows people to express their feelings freely and gain support from others. It has paved the way for cancel culture to gain momentum and make an impact. 

What is cancel culture?

Cancel culture is the idea that you can keep people such as celebrities, designers, politicians, and others accountable for their behavior and opinions by boycotting them if they go against what is considered right. A prime example of this would be R.Kelly. The rapper faced a lot of backlash for being an alleged sexual predator in 2019 with many talking about boycotting his music. 

The MeToo movement has also led to many celebrities being boycotted such as comedians Louis C.K. and Aziz Ansari, both accused of sexual harassment. The culture relies on an accusation of individuals, in the limelight, pushing moral boundaries and uses it against them. These accusations are spread on social media and gain support from users around the world. 

The origin of the culture

Cancel culture was made popular in 2015 by a series of Twitter users, using the term canceled for people – jokingly and seriously. They would use it as a way to disapprove of the person for the slightest of reasons. Users started to hold celebrities accountable for their actions and opinion by boycotting them if they didn’t agree with it. 

It pretty much spread like wildfire from there with cancel culture being very common nowadays. Even brands as big as Nike were recently a target of cancel culture when they featured Colin Kaepernick in an ad. The ad which showed inequality in America received some backlash and call for a boycott from individuals that did not agree with it and Kapernick’s stance to kneel during the national anthem. They believed it was a sign of disrespect to the flag and the country on Kapernick’s part, even though he kneeled for the injustice and inequality that African Americans face in the U.S.

However, the ad also received a lot of support from the other half of the American public, mostly millennials and Gen Z. The support eventually overshadowed the backlash and Nike came out even more profitable at the end. 

The negative impact of cancel culture

While cancel culture continues to rise, many feel that there are some negative aspects to it. The fact that people use accusations, without waiting for actual proof, to cancel people is risky. It results in the boycotting of individuals that may be innocent, ruining their career. 

People need to use cancel culture wisely, otherwise, it will be a thing of the past. The impact of it has been huge with many celebrities being called out for wrongdoings, rightly ending their careers such as Kevin Spacey for sexually assaulting a minor. Spacey was kicked off the award-winning show, House of Cards, not to be confused with the online card games on SA Gaming, and hasn’t been in a show or movie since. Showcasing the power of social media and cancel culture today.