Another day, another load of whining about ‘being cancelled… If you think this modern scourge is happening to you, here’s a handy checklist…
Have you been given multiple interview slots on television, radio, podcasts with more than five listeners and more than one national newspaper, to repeat whatever you said that got disagreed with?
Have you been offered an alternative venue for your event, an alternative publisher for your book, or is money pouring into your crowdfunder?
Has your work been withdrawn from publication/sale or placed under a destruction order, while you have been offered none of the above and/or sentenced to imprisonment?
Quite probably cancelled…
Are you never off social media, whining and playing the martyr despite the fact that people are mostly inclined to either ignore or laugh at you than buy your stuff in the first place? You’re not cancelled. You just wish you were, as the ‘boohoo, I’m cancelled’ grift is a lot more lucrative than the ‘I’m too special for this cruel world’ number popular with producers of uninteresting stuff.
The current weird distortion of reality around free speech and cancellation effectively boils down to: right-leaning straight white people not only have a right to speak but a right to be listened to: walking away and refusing to give them money or attention is should-be-illegal bigotry and discrimination against the most fragile and marginalised (while generally wealthy and well-connected) people, while laws are brewing to criminalize even the most mild and civilised protests or any criticism of the ruling class. Your *beliefs*, however spiteful and wilfully ignorant, or outright ridiculous, may well be a protected characteristic, but they are not a free pass to mistreat those you disapprove of or disagree with because: guess what? They have the same rights as you. So you can *think* nasty things about the member of a minority group you work with or encounter in public… but you are not allowed to pester them or call them names.
And if you, like Roisin Murphy, are going to say silly, uninformed things on contentious topics, then cry if others disapprove, at least do a little bit of research on the subject before you open your mouth or log in to your socials. Then you should be able to avoid being cancelled or having to worry about it.