Cancel culture

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Cancel culture is a term used to refer to the phenomenon of "cancelling" or no longer morally, financially, and/or digitally supporting people—usually celebrities—or things that many have deemed unacceptable or problematic. The term is often used as a hashtag on social media, where it is believed to have originated. Specifically, it is thought to have come from Black Twitter, which is a cultural identity consisting of "Black" Twitter users from around the world focused on issues of interest to the black community, particularly in the United States.[1]


Lisa Nakamura, a professor at the University of Michigan, described cancel culture as "an agreement not to amplify, signal boost, give money to. People talk about the attention economy — when you deprive someone of your attention, you’re depriving them of a livelihood."[2]


In January 2018, "#LoganPaulIsOverParty" and other hashtag variations trended online after the Internet personality Logan Paul posted a video to YouTube of a corpse he found while exploring the Aokigahara forest in Japan.[3] The firing of director James Gunn by Disney in July 2018 and comedian Kevin Hart stepping down from hosting the 91st Academy Awards in December 2018 were events that have been attributed to cancel culture.[1]


Cancel culture has received both defense[4] and criticism. It has often been criticized as being ineffective.[3][5][6][7][8] The very existence of cancel culture is also a point of contention.[9]

In an interview with Vogue, British writer and fashion blogger Chidera Eggerue called cancel culture "an outcome of the kind of intense idolatry that an online following encourages", saying, "When you idolise someone you say that you find them a role model, that they’re goals, but then you’re dehumanising them at the same time because you’re robbing them of the ability to be wrong, the ability to make mistakes."[10]

In popular culture[edit]

The American animated television series South Park mocked cancel culture with its own "#CancelSouthPark" campaign in promotion of the show's twenty-second season.[11][12][13][14] In the season's third episode, "The Problem with a Poo", there are references to the documentary The Problem with Apu, the cancellation of Roseanne after controversial tweets by the show's eponymous actress, and the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.[15][16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kinos-Goodin, Jesse (December 13, 2018). "Have we hit peak cancel culture?". CBC Radio. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  2. ^ Engel Bromwich, Jonah (June 28, 2018). "Everyone Is Canceled". The New York Times. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Garel, Connor (July 9, 2018). "Logan Paul and the Myth of Cancel Culture". VICE. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  4. ^ Parham, Jason (October 5, 2018). "The Devolution of Kanye West and the Case for Cancel Culture". Wired. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  5. ^ Smith-Strickland, Stephanie (September 6, 2018). "Why Cancel Culture Doesn't Work". Paper Magazine. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  6. ^ Williams, Aaron (September 27, 2018). "Doja Cat's Continued Live Success Shows That Cancel Culture Has Its Limits". UPROXX. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  7. ^ Anthony, Ahmari (October 29, 2018). "Perspective: Our New 'Cancel Culture' Is Ineffective". The Hilltop. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  8. ^ Lockett, Dee (September 27, 2018). "J. Cole Speaks Out On Cancel Culture, The Trouble With Fame and Schooling Young Rappers". Billboard. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  9. ^ Butler, Danielle (October 23, 2018). "The Misplaced Hysteria About a 'Cancel Culture' That Doesn't Actually Exist". Very Smart Brothas. The Root. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  10. ^ Berrington, Katie (July 14, 2018). "Chidera Eggerue On Being A Force For Change". British Vogue. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  11. ^ Andrews, Travis M. (October 17, 2018). "How 'South Park' became the ultimate #bothsides show". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  12. ^ Edwards, Chris (November 20, 2018). "Post-outrage TV: how South Park is surviving the era of controversy". The Guardian. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  13. ^ Mathews, Liam (October 11, 2018). "South Park Just Trolled The Simpsons Really Hard, but Why?". TV Guide. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  14. ^ Joho, Jess (October 12, 2018). "Why the latest season of 'South Park' feels like a total game-changer". Mashable. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  15. ^ Parker, Ryan (October 10, 2018). "'South Park' Goes After Roseanne Barr, 'Simpsons' Apu Character". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  16. ^ Barsanti, Sam (October 9, 2018). "South Park will somehow tackle both Brett Kavanaugh and The Problem With Apu simultaneously". The A.V. Club. Retrieved October 10, 2018.