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Lizzo once supported cancel culture. She thought it served an important purpose in American culture.
Now, she opines the phenomenon is a form of “appropriation.”
“This may be a random time to say this but it’s on my heart.. cancel culture is appropriation. There was real outrage from truly marginalized people and now it’s become trendy, misused and misdirected. I hope we can phase out of this & focus our outrage on the real problems,” Lizzo tweeted Sunday.
The cancelers are “misdirected” and “misusing” the tool, she explains.
See, Lizzo was a proponent of cancel culture until a lighter variant hit her last year. In 2022, the outrage mob forced her to change her lyrics to omit the word “spaz” from the vocabulary.
She addressed the controversy last June:
“It’s been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song ‘GRRRLS’ . Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language,” she noted in the statement. “As a fat black woman in America, I’ve had many hurtful words used against me so I can overstand the power words can have (whether intentionally or in my case, unintentionally). I’m proud to say there’s a new version of GRRRLS with a lyric change. This is the result of me listening and taking action. As an influential artist I’m dedicated to being part of the change I’ve been waiting to see in the world.”
“I’d never heard it used as a slur against disabled people, never ever,” Lizzo added. “The music I make is in the business of feeling good and being authentic to me. Using a slur is unauthentic to me, but I did not know it was a slur. It’s a word I’ve heard a lot, especially in rap songs, and with my Black friends and in my black circles: It means to go off, turn up. I used [it as a] verb, not as a noun or adjective. I used it in the way that it’s used in the Black community. The internet brought it to my attention, but that wouldn’t [have been enough] to make me change something.”
Evolution of cancel culture
Lizzo is correct in that the escalation of cancel culture is certainly detrimental. But it’s hard to argue the movement was ever of merit.
The idea was always to eliminate people from the public, to destroy their careers and lives, for thought crimes that ran afoul of the prevailing narrative.
Define cancel culture as a self-serving quest in which subjects used their platforms to scold opponents as racists, sexists, bigots, and even worse, white men.
But the movement never has an endpoint, or goal in reach. Progressives saw it as a means to keep progressing.
So, no matter how many heads they put on the spike, they had to find another.
And because so few realistic examples of racism exist, the mob has had to settle for overreaches and often manufactured cases of outrage.
Cancel culture did not better society or make us more inclusive. Rather, it increased tensions and divided us further.
That’s long been the case. It just took Lizzo to experience the wrath herself to notice the vile nature of the phenomenon.