Deep reckoning or fleeting outrage? Cancel culture's complexity proves a double-edged sword

A lot of people have been canceled in 2019: The Central Park rape case prosecutor Linda Fairstein was canceled after a Netflix series about the case sparked renewed outrage, as was a Parkland school shooting survivor who used the N-word, and the woman who leaned over Beyoncé at the NBA finals while talking to Jay-Z.

And on Father’s Day, Bill Cosby reminded a ton of people on Twitter why he’s been canceled with a widely criticized tweet about still being “America’s dad.”

Cancel culture — the social media phenomenon that takes user outrage and transforms it into a large-scale rejection of a celebrity’s work, product or place in pop culture — has affected a variety of celebrities in a wide range of situations in the last year. It has been described as a thoughtful strategy that gives agency to minorities and consumers, resulting in so-called takedowns of public figures who have engaged in egregious behavior.


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