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A Look at the Biggest Celebrity Cancellations in the 21st Century

Published on 01.06.2023 by Jacob Turner

In recent years, the phenomenon of “cancel culture” has become increasingly prevalent in modern society. Essentially, "cancel culture" refers to the practice of calling out public figures who have engaged in problematic behavior, and subsequently “canceling” them by boycotting their work and/or publicly shaming them. While cancel culture has arguably played a role in promoting social justice and holding powerful people accountable for their actions, it’s also generated controversy due to its potential for overreaction and lack of due process. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the biggest celebrity cancellations of the 21st century, and examine the impact of cancel culture on society as a whole.


The Biggest Celebrity Cancellations

Since the rise of cancel culture, numerous high-profile celebrities have been called out and subsequently “canceled” by the general public. Here are just a few examples:

Kevin Spacey: In 2017, actor Kevin Spacey was accused of sexual misconduct by more than a dozen men. As a result, Spacey was fired from his hit Netflix series “House of Cards” and faced widespread public condemnation.

Harvey Weinstein: Film producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault and harassment by dozens of women, including some of Hollywood’s most prominent actresses. He was subsequently arrested and charged with multiple crimes, and his name became synonymous with the #MeToo movement.

Roseanne Barr: Comedian Roseanne Barr faced backlash in 2018 for a racist tweet about former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett. ABC subsequently canceled her show “Roseanne,” and Barr was widely condemned for her remarks.

Louis CK: Comedian Louis CK faced accusations of sexual misconduct from multiple women in 2017. He subsequently admitted to the allegations and faced widespread condemnation and cancellation of his work.

James Charles: In 2019, beauty influencer James Charles faced backlash for alleged grooming and manipulation of his fans. He lost millions of followers and faced widespread public condemnation.

Shane Dawson: YouTuber Shane Dawson has been accused of racism, pedophilia, and other problematic behavior over the years. In 2020, multiple old videos resurfaced in which he made racist and offensive remarks, leading to widespread backlash and calls for his cancellation.

These are just a few examples of high-profile celebrities who have been canceled by the general public. In many cases, these celebrities faced significant professional and personal consequences as a result of their problematic behavior.


The Impact of Cancel Culture

While cancel culture has been praised by some as a means of promoting social justice and holding powerful people accountable for their actions, it’s also generated controversy due to its potential for overreaction and lack of due process. Some critics argue that canceled culture can lead to a “mob mentality,” in which people are quick to jump on the bandwagon of condemnation without fully understanding the context or history behind a given situation.

There’s also concern that canceling culture can chill free speech and expression, as people become afraid to voice controversial opinions or ideas for fear of being publicly shamed or boycotted. Additionally, there’s a concern that canceling culture can create an atmosphere of fear and anxiety, especially among people who work in fields such as entertainment, where public approval is crucial for success.

Despite these concerns, however, canceled culture shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, it seems likely that canceled culture will continue to shape our cultural landscape in the years to come.