Culture Shock: What is Cancel Culture and what does it have to do with you?
What is Cancel Culture?
Cancel culture is an extension of how we already talk about calling out problematic behavior in our daily lives. But where call-out culture aims to shame others, cancel culture seeks instead to prevent others from finding joy. The unspoken (and sometimes spoken) goal of cancel culture—whether they realize it or not—is that eventually all pop cultural content will either be endorsed by social justice warriors or prohibited.
Why Is Cancel Culture Bad?
Cancel culture, while a powerful force for good in some areas, is also an extremely toxic movement. Part of its appeal stems from its inclusivity; like most things on social media, there’s a great deal of virtue signaling involved. For others, there’s personal validation to be gained by speaking out against something they dislike or find offensive. This has resulted in people taking their moral authority into their own hands, never mind if they’re qualified or not.
How Does Cancel Culture Affect Us As Writers?
The term cancel culture seems like a relatively new trend in TV, but we can trace its origins back at least twenty years. Whether or not you find it useful, cancel culture exists for one reason and one reason only: People want access to entertainment produced by people who represent them. Representation has many meanings, from race and gender identity, to disability status and political affiliation. Being black doesn’t mean that all black people think alike, so why should all women think alike? The answer is they shouldn’t -but often times they do because of how society categorizes people into groups. Within these groups are assumptions about how those members will behave.
How To Cope With Cancel Culture
There are many reasons why a professional writer may be canceled, such as hate tweets, online harassment or heated arguments that spin out of control. Due to varying definitions of cancel culture there has been a great deal of confusion over whether or not writers should even respond in these situations. The general consensus seems to be that if someone is being actively abusive towards you online, then yes – please don’t feed into it, as I have learned the hard way. -MM