Graphic by Antonio Mochmann
Cancel culture creates an environment that seeks to take fame away from celebrities and influencers who commit “bad” actions by boycotting their products en masse and creating a wide movement to tell others to do so. Many celebrities have been canceled for their harmful political rhetoric, racism and harassment of others.
Recently, the great minds at WatchMojo.com uncovered that celebrities will often come back from being canceled, and they collected these moments in a top 10 video. The metrics used to rank these canceled celebrities have yet to be revealed. This reporting has led many to ask the question: is cancel culture real?
“Canceled” influencers have attempted to return to their platforms by apologizing to their followers and the communities they are accused of hurting, taking time to reflect on their actions and donating to causes that they believe are relevant. They leave the rest to the court of public opinion as they continue to make content.
While researching the effects of cancel culture and what steps people take to seek redemption, The Press came across a shocking revelation: some influencers will intentionally manufacture cancellation to take breaks from their social media jobs.
“I kinda just got tired, y’know?” said influencer Joe Allen in an interview with The Press on his most recent cancellation — his third this year. “I was running out of ideas and getting burned out, so I told my buddy to leak some of our old DMs so we could take a vacation with the boys.”
Allen found out about this technique by accident. After old tweets surfaced and fans discovered his opinions on white supremacy, they came together as a community to boycott his work. He has since apologized and cited “doing it as a bit” as his justification.
“The best part is, when I came back, the views just went way up,” Allen continued. He was initially surprised to get so much attention, and told his manager that they should get canceled more often. “Since then, my manager’s given me a cancellation quota.”
Allen’s manager, Patrick Doogon, has since shared the technique with his other influencer clients. He told them that getting canceled is essentially a “paid leave,” as the attention and views that come afterwards pay for the time taken to “reflect.”
With the “court of public opinion” having no way to give influencers a “sentence,” and the “court records” taking the form of Twitter threads made by 15-year-olds, many influencers simply exploit this lack of accountability and resume their content as normal.
Many have decried the “woke mob” to be the cause of constant cancellations. Last semester at Stony Brook University, “comedian” Chris Johnson opened for the comedy group the Impractical Jokers. He joked about pronouns, how you can’t make any jokes anymore — despite making the jokes to a crowd of students and opening for a comedy group going on tour across the country — and how he was going to get canceled. We could not confirm nor deny his prediction due to the fact that his name would not appear when searched on Google. We were unsure if there was an existing comedy career to cancel.
But Doogon has dispelled the “woke mob” claims.
“These are just bad people,” he said in an interview. “Imagine the worst person you know from high school. They would say the most homophobic and racist things for attention from people. It’s likely they were popular too. That’s all these influencers are. It’s Halloween with how many skeletons are in the closet. But it’s Christmas for me — I have so much material to work with.”
It may soon be the case that your favorite content creator is canceled for doing something seemingly inexcusable. But, if these planned cancellations are true, there should not be much to worry about. After an apology tour and a long break, you’ll forget it even happened.