16 Times Conservatives Tried To Cancel Things, Even Though They Pretend To Hate "Cancel Culture"
Remember when conservatives canceled french fries?
If you've turned on Fox News lately, you've probably seen some prominent conservative pundits rant about how "cancel culture" is a liberal disease that's destroying America.
But the truth is, conservatives try to "cancel" people and institutions they disagree with all the time. In fact, if you look at the
history of Christian boycotts in America, you could make a pretty compelling argument that the religious right invented "cancel culture."
So, here are 16 times conservatives showed just how much they love canceling things:
Denny Keeler / Getty Images
criticized President George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003, and conservatives immediately canceled them for it. Their CDs were burned, their shows were protested, and conservatives called up every single country radio station in America to demand their songs be pulled from the airwaves.
Michael Zagaris / Getty Images
Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem at NFL games to protest racist police brutality, and conservatives called for the end of his career. Donald Trump publicly
stated, "Get that son of a bitch off the field." Colin ended up getting removed from his team after that season, and no other NFL team would take him. A former NFL executive later admitted the league intentionally ousted him because of his activism.
ABC / Walt Disney Television via Getty
When Ellen used her sitcom to come out as a lesbian in 1997, there was
intense backlash from conservatives and religious groups. Her show was canceled the following year, and both Ellen and Laura Dern (who played her love interest) faced difficulty finding work in the aftermath.
Jamie Mccarthy / Getty Images
called Ivanka Trump a "feckless c*nt" in a monologue joke on her late night show, and conservatives came for her head. Advertisers were forced to pull out of her show, facing mounting pressure from the right. Trump himself demanded that TBS cancel her. "Why aren't they firing no talent Samantha Bee for the horrible language used on her low ratings show?" he tweeted.
Matt Cowan / Getty Images
Laughable to think anyone could cancel Beyoncé, but conservatives did indeed try! After her "Formation" Super Bowl performance and music video release in 2016 — which featured commentary about racist police killings and Black Lives Matter — the conservative blowback was swift. Fox News immediately went on the
attack. A Florida police union voted to boycott the singer's Miami concert. Another group organized a #BoycottBeyoncé rally, but only three people showed up.
Mark Wilson / Getty Images
Target announced that they would not discriminate against transgender people in 2016, instating a formal policy that allows customers to use the bathroom that matches their gender. Conservatives organized a boycott in response, with one religious group
claiming to have 1.3 million people ready to stop shopping at their stores. The boycott failed.
Caroline Mccredie / Getty Images
Jane Fonda was an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War, and her activism — as well as a
controversial photo she posed for on a 1972 visit to Hanoi — make her a target of conservative anger even to this day. She's opened up about how she still loses TV appearances over it. Megyn Kelly recently called her "Hanoi Jane" after a disagreement. And last year, Ohio's Secretary of State tried to get Kent State University to cancel an upcoming speaking engagement with Fonda, accusing her of "treason."
The satirical horror film
The Hunt became the subject of right-wing backlash in 2019, after Trump rage-tweeted about it. The Hunt followed wealthy liberals as they hunted down "deplorables" for sport. Filmmakers said the film was not meant as commentary about Trump supporters, but rather, a sendup of the extremely divided political climate we live in. Still, conservatives successfully lobbied Universal to have the film's release canceled. (It was eventually released on streaming instead.)
Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images
banned the Confederate flag at its events, at the urging of the league's only Black full-time driver, Bubba Wallace. In response, conservatives organized boycotts of the racing organization in several states.
John Sciulli / Getty Images
Kathy Griffin tweeted that infamous
Trump photo, and the conservative backlash was immediate. Conservatives are usually quick to defend offensive content in comedy under the banner of “free speech,” but they didn’t seem too worried about that when they demanded that Kathy Griffin lose all of her gigs.
Christopher Polk / Getty Images
James Gunn was temporarily fired from the
Guardians of the Galaxy franchise in 2018 over offensive jokes from his Twitter that resurfaced. How did they resurface, you ask? Prominent members of the alt-right went searching for them after Gunn criticized Trump. Ted Cruz tweeted that he was "glad" to see Disney fire Gunn, and wondered whether the director should be prosecuted.
Let's take it back to 2003, when France announced their opposition to the impending US invasion of Iraq. In response, prominent Republican politicians decided that french fries were canceled. They were
renamed "freedom fries" in congressional cafeterias, and soon other restaurants around the country followed suit. (French fries became uncanceled once people realized France was right all along.)
Michael Loccisano / Getty Images
Michelle Wolf was the host of the White House Correspondents' Dinner in 2018, and conservatives went
berserk over a joke she made about Sarah Huckabee Sanders' habit of lying: "I actually really like Sarah; I think she's very resourceful. She burns facts, and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smokey eye." People on the right threw a fit, and rejoiced when her talk show was canceled later that year. BuzzFeed Daily
Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!