Think of a celebrity who said something controversial or got involved in a controversy she was probably sentenced to "cancellation" by the social media court. Traditionally used to stop subscribing to a service or cancel an appointment, the verb "cancel" has come to be used to boycott people. The so-called "culture of cancellation" was so striking in 2019 that Australian dictionary Macquarie chose it as the word of the year.
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But what are the origins of this phenomenon? What reasons cause any to be canceled? Does the cancellation culture really work? Next, understand the dynamics of the boycott of celebrities on the Internet and get to know some names that have already been condemned by the social media court.
Anitta one of the celebrities 'canceled' by the Internet in 2019 Photo: Reproduo / Instagram
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What does the culture of cancellation?
The culture of cancellation refers to attitudes within a community that ask for or cause the interruption of support for actors, politicians, musicians, digital influencers or any other public figure, usually in response to some type of attitude considered condemned, offensive or prejudiced.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of the term "cancel" "destroys strength, effectiveness or validity". When a person says he is canceling a celebrity, that is what he is trying to do.
In the words of the Australian dictionary Macquarie, which elected the cancellation culture as "word of the year", the term captures an important aspect of the 2019 lifestyle: "an attitude so persuasive that it has earned its own name and has become, for good or for evil, a powerful force.
Where does the culture of cancellation come from?
Internationally, the idea of canceling something comes from the #MeToo movement (#EuTambm, in Portuguese), an online campaign that gathered testimonies from women victims of sexual crimes. Headed by Hollywood celebrities, the movement started in 2017, following a series of complaints against producer Harvey Weinstein, accused by dozens of women of sexual abuse and rape.
The wave of reports has given rise to one of the most serious cancellations on social media. Not surprisingly, the expression "Me Too" was chosen by the Macquarie dictionary as the word of the year in 2018. "Although the movement took off in 2017 with the hashtag #MeToo, it definitely kept its momentum and, in 2018, started spreading its wings linguistics in addition to the hashtag and the name of the movement, responding to an obvious need in the discourse surrounding this social upheaval ", explained the dictionary committee.
In the same year, a report by the The New York Times gave rise to the phenomenon by stating that "everyone was being canceled". Taylor Swift, Kanye West and Bill Gates were just some of the celebrities cited in the text, which explained the dynamics behind the boycott.
The list of celebrities canceled in 2019 is extensive. In Brazil, the social media court has already sentenced names like Anitta, Neymar, Britto Jr. and MC Gui. On his Twitter, the user @jotagirotto made a list of all the canceled personalities, in the process of being canceled and "incancelveis". He also added public figures that were "revoked", that is, they managed to reverse the cancellation, such as youtuber Felipe Neto, famous for starring in polemics and shooting acid comments.
Leading the relationship, Anitta has already been canceled for numerous reasons, mainly for political reasons. The singer has already been accused of using the LGBT audience without defending the flags of the cause and of using blackness only when it suits her.
One of the most recent cases of cancellation occurred with the singer MC Gui. In October, the funky musician from São Paulo posted, on his Instagram Stories, a video mocking the appearance of a girl who was dressed up as a character from a Disney movie. The attitude was immediately rejected by the users, who accused the MC of bullying. He tried to apologize, but the response did not convince him: "I laughed because I thought it was a little impressive. The Internet is so boring," said the singer.
answer by MC Gui: "the internet is boring" friend, YOU ZOMBED A CHILD who is probably a cancer patient (due to the fact that she does not have an eyebrow and is wearing a wig) CHATA? Mlk pampered and without notion.
– October 21, 2019
However, anyone who thinks that practices such as bullying, racism, homophobia, machismo and support for extreme right-wing candidates can lead to the cancellation of a celebrity is wrong. Some cases may sound quite banal, like that of the American singer Taylor Swift, who saw the hashtag #TaylorSwiftIsCancelled (#TaylorSwiftEstCancelada, in Portuguese) bomb because of an old fight with rapper Kanye West.
Incidentally, neither Kim Kardashian's husband escaped the cancellations in 2019. The reaffirmation of his support for US President Donald Trump, at a time when many blacks are offended by the Republican's comments, shocked the rapper's fans. To make matters worse, Kanye also said, during a live on the TMZ website, that slavery "was a choice".
Does the cancellation culture really work?
It depends on both the famous and the seriousness of the case. While MC Gui suffered from the cancellation of shows, episodes involving Anitta and Taylor Swift, for example, show that boycott attempts promoted on the web do not always affect celebrities' careers. Both singers continue to release hits and win awards for their work.
The same cannot be said of actor Kevin Spacey, who has accumulated at least five reports of sexual harassment. Since the controversies surfaced, the former House of Cards star has been fired by Netflix and has not been involved in any new projects. His last film was "Billionaire Boy's Club", from 2018, filmed before the revelations. It was also digitally removed from the feature "All the Money in the World".
Via CNN, Time, Merriam-Webster, Macquaire Dictionary (1 and 2), The NY Times
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