What We Talk About When We Talk About Cancelling People

TV shows get cancelled. Movies get cancelled. Clothing lines and parades get cancelled. Cancelling people is trickier to grasp, but we do it all the time. Someone says something that doesn’t align with our values so we un-follow. We shame, ridicule, threaten a boycott; demand for a swift removal from their jobs and the public sphere. Cancel is a button we hit when shaming isn’t enough. It is, as far as public image goes, its own Thanos finger-snap. Right now, we’re snap-happy. This has attributed to an entire culture on social media that relishes the takedown of anyone remotely problematic, high-profile figures especially. (The bigger they are…) Anyone on any day of the week might get hit with the C-word, but what does it mean exactly? What does any of it mean if James Gunn gets cancelled, while someone like Les Moonves gets the benefit of the doubtContinue reading