Op-eds that would have easily been published just two years ago would now get an editor or a writer in serious trouble, if not fired. If a piece is perceived as likely to inspire backlash internally or on social media, the editor or writer avoids pitching it. If she feels strongly enough to suggest it, she is quickly steered to safer ground. And if, every now and then, she succeeds in getting a piece published that does not explicitly promote progressive causes, it happens only after every line is carefully massaged, negotiated and caveated.
Cancel culture”, in all its alliterative horror, sounds like a terrifying wave of intolerance. Something from Nazi Germany or Margaret Atwood’s Gilead. But it doesn’t really exist.
Those shouting about cancel culture are focused only on the most aggressive minority. They are treating a group that is asking for accountability as though it were a mob spreading fear. These supposed cancellers don’t own magazines or companies, or run television stations; they aren’t bullies — they are trying to protect vulnerable groups from being bullied by the powerful.
For too long there have been next to no repercussions for those making bigoted comments or committing sexual assault, and people have had enough. What we’re saying is: if you act in a way we find reprehensible, we won’t give you our custom; we won’t buy your products, watch your films, be your fans.