From a Forbes 30 Under 30 award-winning journalist comes a critical and nuanced look at the topic of cancel culture, arguing that cancel culture has been a fundamental means of democratic expression throughout history and is a timely necessity aimed at combating systems of oppression.
THE CASE FOR CANCEL CULTURE:
Why Uncensored Accountability Liberates
by Ernest Owens
St. Martin’s Press, February 2023
Cancel culture. Chances are you’ve heard about this a lot lately, but what really is it? Blacklisting celebrities? Censorship? Up until this point, this has been the general consensus in the media. But it’s time to raise the bar on our definition—to think of cancel culture less as scandal or suppression and more as an essential means of democratic expression and accountability. THE CASE FOR CANCEL CULTURE offers a fresh progressive lens in favor of cancel culture as a tool for activism and change. It will help readers reflect on and learn the long history of canceling (the Boston Tea Party was cancel culture); how the left and right uniquely equip it as part of their political toolkits; how intersections of society wield it for justice; and ultimately how it levels the playing field for the everyday person’s voice to matter. Why should we care? Because in a world where protest and free speech are being challenged by the most powerful institutions, those without power deserve to understand the nuance and importance of this democratic tool available to them. Rather than seeing cancel culture as a nasty byproduct of the digital age, it should be seen as a powerful instrument for change. Ernest Owens shows readers exactly how with examples from politics, pop culture, and his own personal experience. Readers will walk away from this first-of-its-kind exploration not despising cancel culture but embracing it as a form of democratic expression that’s always been leading the charge in liberating us all.
Ernest Owens is an award-winning journalist and CEO of Ernest Media Empire, LLC. He is the Editor at Large for Philadelphia Magazine and President of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. He hosts the hit podcast « Ernestly Speaking! ». As an openly Black gay journalist, he has made headlines for speaking frankly about intersectional issues in society regarding race, LGBTQ, and pop culture. In 2018, he launched his growing media company that specializes in multimedia production, consulting, and communications. His versatile talent has taken him from Ghana to the White House, where he’s interviewed countless political leaders (such as Vice President Kamala Harris) to Hollywood where he’s interviewed industry heavyweights (such as Oprah Winfrey and Academy Award winning screenwriter Tarell Alvin McCraney). His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, MTV, NBC, NPR, and other prominent media outlets.