Most Americans say cancel culture is a big problem

Jamie BallardData Journalist
July 28, 2020, 12:00 PM UTC

In recent months, many famous people have expressed concerns about so-called cancel culture, or the idea that the public will boycott celebrities and public figures who say things that some find offensive or objectionable. People including JK RowlingJimmy Fallon, singer Lana del Rey and actress Lea Michele have all recently been supposedly “canceled” on social media for various statements and actions considered by some to be problematic. But do Americans think cancel culture itself is problematic?  

New research from Yahoo News/YouGov finds that most (56%) Americans think that cancel culture in the United States is a very big (28%) or somewhat big (28%) problem. Republicans (72%) are particularly likely to point to cancel culture as a big problem, while fewer Independents (58%) and Democrats (47%) agree.

About four in 10 Democrats say that cancel culture is a small problem, while 15 percent believe it’s not a problem at all.   

Among registered voters who say they will vote for Trump this fall, close to half (49%) say that cancel culture is a very big problem, while an additional 29 percent see it as a somewhat big problem. Likely Biden voters don’t agree: fewer than half (41%) say cancel culture is a big problem.  


Additional YouGov polling from July 2020 finds that half (50%) of Americans say that they have canceled someone, meaning they’ve withdrawn support for a celebrity or public figure who did something they consider offensive.  

Roughly half (51%) of US adults think that canceling someone is a very (16%) or somewhat (36%) effective way of driving social change. Three in 10 (30%) think it is ineffective.  

But even if it’s effective, many aren’t convinced that being canceled has much of an impact on a celebrity’s career. Only one in five (21%) say that being canceled will affect a celebrity’s career for more than a year.  

See the full toplines and crosstabs from the Yahoo News/YouGov survey, and results from the YouGov survey.   
 
Methodology: This Yahoo News/YouGov survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,504 US residents interviewed online between July 11-14, 2020. These samples were weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, and news interest. 

Methodology for YouGov editorial survey: Total unweighted sample size was 1,161 US adults. Survey was conducted online between July 8 - 9, 2020. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+). 

Related: Fox News viewers say President Trump should encourage people to use face masks

Image: Getty