What is Cancel Culture?
Over the last year, especially the last few months, it has become almost impossible to not see “cancel” followed by a celebrity, company/organization, politician, youtuber or any other public figure trending on social media daily. Many have coined the current times that we are living in now as a “Cancel Culture.”
According to Merriam-Webster, cancelling someone (usually a celebrity or other well-known figure) means to stop giving support to that person. This could be boycotting an actor’s movies, a comedian’s stand-up, no longer purchasing or promoting someone’s products and so on, in hopes of ending their career.
The call to cancel a public figure can be for many reasons, but it is usually that the person has expressed a controversial opinion or has conducted themselves in an unacceptable way, so continued support of their work or products doesn’t sit well with their consumers.
While there are hardly, if any, celebrities or companies that have actually had their career or organizations ended due to public backlash (sometimes it actually does the opposite), it does leave a stain on their reputation.
Even though it is possible for a public figure or organization to overcome a controversy, often times they can be avoided all together.
Here are a few tips:
- Sexual orientation and racism are not joking issues or matters to be taken lightly. Often times, we see someone with good intentions say the wrong thing when addressing these matters, this why diversity within an organization is important to understand different backgrounds.
- Be sure to understand that for every opinion (especially on sensitive subjects) you may share on social media or in a conversation, that there might be someone else who shares an opposing opinion. Some opinions are best left off social media and to yourself.
- Timing is everything. Even though an opinion may be accepted by the masses at some point or have good intentions, if the timing isn’t right it can come off insensitive and may not be accepted. Be sure to always read the room and listen to what is being said before responding.