People on social media are trying to decide if emotionally canceling a video streaming subscription after the company makes a decision you don't like has anything to do with cancel culture. Is the action of halting financial support of a business aligned with the cancel culture narrative or simply a mechanism of a self-regulating market?
Photo Credit: Inside The Magic
BY TERESA YANAROS, FEBRUARY 15, 2021
Social media was ripe with declarations of people canceling their Disney+ memberships over Disney's recent firing of Mandalorian actress, Gina Carano. The former Mandalorian actress was reportedly terminated by Disney on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, for nothing more than sharing conservative views across her social media platforms. After an angry mob of bullies attacked her repeatedly online and called her names, Disney gave in to the pressure and fired Carano.
When #canceldisneyplus began to trend on Twitter and the video streaming platform's membership numbers began to decline rapidly (much to the surprise of Disney executives), a question among the #Twittersphere rose to the top of the chaos that ensued. A constitutional law attorney and former Sr. Legal Advisor to Trump, Jenna Ellis tweeted:
Let me get this straight... We’re so against cancel culture that we’re calling to cancel Disney+ Got it.
So folks canceling a paid subscription to a program that fired a person because SJWs got mad is the same as cancel culture? Nope.
What Exactly is Cancel Culture?
Let's back up for a second and define cancel culture.
Cancel culture refers to the popular practice of withdrawing support for (canceling) public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive. Cancel culture is generally discussed as being performed on social media in the form of group shaming.
Generally speaking, cancel culture refers to acts of online shaming by groups of people toward a person or company after something controversial happens. The "canceling" that occurs is usually a wildly inappropriate reaction to an instance that occurred, many times after being taken out of context. Sometimes the canceling occurs after the mainstream media skews the details of an event falsely or after it's been operationalized by a narrative and weaponized to destroy someone's business or professional reputation.
I perceive cancel culture as a faulty and overreactive collective response to a stimulus. Many times, the people engaging in the "canceling" have completely misinterpreted what actually occurred.
Cancel Culture Stems From Confabulation
Let's use Carano as an example.
She chose not to change her pronouns on her Twitter bio after being called horrible names by an angry mob online. Afterward, she updated them to boop/bop/beep, and the mob became even more enraged and said she was mocking trans people. She stood her ground, calmly and clearly stating she would not be controlled or bullied by them into doing anything. She literally said that changing her pronouns had "zero to do with mocking trans people & 100 to do with exposing the bullying mentality of the mob that has taken over the voices of many genuine causes."
From my expansive experience with the internet and direct experience with cancel culture, it seems like a common pattern that angry mobs online tend to confabulate information.
Confabulation is a type of memory error in which gaps in a person's memory are unconsciously filled with fabricated, misinterpreted, or distorted information. When someone confabulates, they are confusing things they have imagined with real memories. A person who is confabulating is not lying.
In this case, Carano made it clear that she was not against trans people in any way. She simply chose not to add pronouns to her bio because she wanted to expose "the bullying mentality of the mob that has taken over the voices of many genuine causes." (bold added for emphasis) She even alludes to the trans cause as a genuine one, and yet this online community wanted to cancel her? Why? Confabulation.
When you see cancel culture, you see confabulation.
Bringing The Issue into Resonance
On one hand, I do see Ellis' point that we must be very careful not to jump to pull a trigger against the reputation, career, or financial backing of any individual or institution based on one issue that might be confabulated. I want to acknowledge what she is saying here because I do think it is important to keep a pulse on this. We must be vigilant in doing our research when making decisions to pull support from individuals and businesses.
On the other hand, I agree with Airey that in this case, canceling your Disney+ account over this is likely not buying into the cancel culture narrative. Let me explain.
The Firing of Carano Brought Disney's Motives Even Further into Question
Driving it home here.
It's a free country and Disney's leadership absolutely has the right to make whatever business decisions that they deem appropriate to make. We live in a capitalistic society that boasts a free market economy. That being said, we are consumers and therefore can make whatever decisions we would like to make and can choose to spend our money however we would like to spend it.
In this case, this is not a solitary instance where a group of people confabulated a situation and attacked a company because of such. I am guessing (based on what I am reading and hearing) that most people who canceled their subscriptions did so because of multiple indicators that Disney aligns with values that are un-American and morally questionable.
It’s understandable how the company that filmed “Mulan” in Xinjiang, and thanked many of the province’s numerous murderous agencies in the film’s credits, would find offense with any statement condemning the awfulness of genocide or the hatred behind it.
- Dana Loesch, Political Commentator
Case in point, this is not the only thing about Disney that brings its motives into question. The company is now cutting ties with conservative actresses, and in this case, an insanely popular one on their platform's most popular series. What gives? Sacking Carano demonstrates a choice not fueled by business opportunity but instead by a political agenda.
Sacking Carano demonstrates a choice not fueled by business opportunity but instead by a political agenda.
If Disney was concerned about entertainment, they would not have sacked their leading lady and the most popular human character of the Mandalorian series.
After making informed decisions about the businesses we wish to support, many people want to spend their money on businesses that showcase a moral compass. The moral compass of Disney has clearly been brought into question.
On top of that, some people were just outraged simply because Mandalorian was their favorite show and Carano's character their favorite character. (This was me!) Why keep a subscription when your favorite character is now gone? Canceling in that case is just common sense, and not so much buying into a rage-mob mentality of cancel culture.
Freedom of Speech is King
The main thing that gets me is that Disney is a media outlet. Carano stood for free expression and the constitution, like many other conservatives voices in this country. A media outlet like Disney discarded a passionate woman of free expression like it was nothing.
Although cancel culture will live to bully another day and Disney will live to release more content, Carano's life has shifted.
Luckily, there is a sea out here of people that see into the truth of what's really going on, and we refuse to leave Carano to shout freedom of speech from the darkness. Daily Wire has partnered with Carano to create and release a film in which she will star.
As she reflected upon embarking on this next phase of her life, she said,
I am sending out a direct message of hope to everyone living in fear of cancellation by the totalitarian mob. I have only just begun using my voice which is now freer than ever before, and I hope it inspires others to do the same. They can’t cancel us if we don’t let them.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Teresa Yanaros, a degreed journalist with a passion for uncovering the truth, has dedicated her life to investigating images and messages received through media outlets. From a young age, she has researched and presented news media through print and began expanding her reach through multi-media.
After writing a book investigating the phenomenon of modern American online spiritualism, she traveled across America, giving speeches and practical workshops on how to analyze and synthesize information. From archetypal studies to advanced truth-seeking, Teresa has presented research in areas of American pop culture, conspiracism, supernatural and paranormal studies, theology, and anthropology of online sub-cultures. Due to Teresa's experience with seeing just how deep the rabbit holes of online culture go, she is devoted to understanding the media effects of online subcultures upon their communities.
Teresa is the founder of Truly Free Society.
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