cancel culture

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Noun[edit]

cancel culture (uncountable)

  1. (neologism, often derogatory) The cultural phenomenon of publicly shaming, rejecting, and ceasing to provide support to people, companies, stores, etc. that are deemed unacceptable, and calling on others to boycott them.
    • 2018 October 5, Jason Parham, “The Devolution of Kanye West and the Case for Cancel Culture”, in Wired:
      With roots in Black Twitter, cancel culture is an unavoidable mainstay of our infotainment age. In an era of too much everything—TV, opinions, news—we’ve come to rely on a vocabulary of consolidation: likes, tweets, emoji. Cancel culture is one of these argots—a governor, a self-regulatory device I have come to wield with pride (if infrequent recklessness). In the collective, the gesture is absolute: we can’t. We’re done. And so we asphyxiate support from a notable cause or figure. Roseanne Barr referred to Valerie Jarrett as an ape? Cancelled. Harvey Weinstein was outed as a sexual predator? Cancelled.
    • 2019, Tayo Rockson, Use Your Difference to Make a Difference:
      In the past, we dismissed people and institutionalized doing so as law and unwritten laws. Today, I fear that we are making dismissing people the cool thing to do with “cancel culture.”
    • 2019 September 3, David French, “Here’s One Way to Stop Cancel Culture — Stop Canceling”, in National Review:
      An unfair journalistic hit has now cost a capable attorney his job. It’s absurd. Cancel culture has reared its ugly head ... again.
    • 2020 February 6, Mattia Ferraresi, “Cancel Culture Comes to France”, in Wall Street Journal:
      " [] Many students have adopted the posture of cancel culture, preventing people they don’t agree with from speaking,” Mr. Finkielkraut told me last month.
    • 2020 July 3, Donald Trump speech at Mount Rushmore transcribed by C-SPAN[1]:
      One of their political weapons is cancel culture, driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters, and demanding total submission from anyone who disagrees.
    • 2020 December 17, Don Stacom, “Condemning ‘cancel culture,’ New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart vetoes council vote to remove city’s Columbus statue”, in Hartford Courant:
      In a statement condemning “cancel culture,” Stewart warned taking down the monument would set a bad precedent.

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