Perhaps one of the reasons why the exact meaning of the term is still being determined is that it is relatively new, and its scope is still evolving with the development of online behavior.
The term “cancel” is relatively simple; a purchase is “canceled” when it is no longer needed. Merriam Webster says that an advertising campaign is “canceled” if it is inappropriate or an unsuccessful marketing strategy. A TV show is “canceled” if it only reaches miserable ratings. For a long time, the meaning of the term “cancel” was not very complex, but at some point in the last decade it has received a new definition, especially in the context of the Internet language.
The “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling always causes controversy with tweets about trans people. “RIP J.K. Rowling” tweets are used to urge people to bury her and stop reading her books. Critics accuse the cabaret artist Lisa Eckhart of having used anti-Semitic stereotypes in an appearance in 2018. It will then be unloaded from the Harbour Front Festival in Hamburg. Actors are removed from films, poems from house walls, authors from publishing programs and authors from debutante salons. In Germany, too, the term “cancel culture” is increasingly appearing in the discussions about these processes, which means prank or demolition culture.
How can “cancel culture” be defined?
“Cancel culture” refers to the attempt to publicly outlaw alleged misconduct, offensive or discriminatory statements or actions – often by celebrities. There is a call for a general boycott of these people.
“‘Cancel Culture’ – I will certainly deal with this, because I find the term very interesting,” said the cabaret artist Lisa Eckhart in August 2020 at NDR Kultur, when her invitation from the Harbour Front Festival in Hamburg led to the fact that the term appeared in public discussion everywhere. “I see culture – that is, culture – in the term ‘cancel culture’ not as the subject – that is, as a culture that cancels – but as the object. Namely, that one is partly striving to cancel culture as a whole. This is not something that I would attribute to a political camp, but a tendency that you can see in many things,” Eckhart continues.
What is cancel culture in simple terms?
What does it mean if someone is Cancelled?
Who has been successfully Cancelled?