By Faran Fagen
Is cancel culture – a movement that aims to ostracize, discredit, and deplatform people and companies for their offensive behavior or transgression – an essential means of democratic expression and accountability, or is it a fundamentally un-American phenomenon that shifts society away from the value of forgiveness?
Parkland residents Evan Nierman and Mark Sachs tackle this cultural debate in their newly released book, “The Cancel Culture Curse: From Rage to Redemption in a World Gone Mad.”
“Put simply, this is a book that matters,” Nierman and Sachs say in the book’s preface. “Because if you think that cancel culture affects only large corporations or A-list celebrities, then think again.”
One of the book’s main ideas is that it’s the average person who is most at risk from cancel culture.
“Every single human being that walks the planet makes mistakes and is therefore in danger of being struck down by cancel culture,” the preface continues. “This is true for individuals from every background imaginable and for organizations across all industries.”
Nierman and Sachs address this quandary using case studies and interviews with well-known victims of cancel culture. They provide a functional definition of cancel culture and identify six characteristics that separate it from instances of warranted outrage.
Nierman’s expertise in crisis communications has made him a go-to source for the media. He is regularly quoted in the national media and has been featured in Newsweek, The Washington Post, Reuters, USA Today, TheWrap, The Hill, and PR News, among others, and appears regularly on TV to weigh in on whatever may be the brewing crisis of the day.
“Sadly, cancel culture touches every aspect of life, including business, politics, music, and entertainment. It is coercive, illiberal, and destructive. ‘Canceling’ is an affront to our Democracy that must be eliminated,” Nierman notes.
He added, “It targets indiscriminately, and those who are attacked may be forever vilified, even if the accusations about them are false. It’s especially destructive when aimed at regular citizens who do not have the financial means and social position to weather the damage of a cancel culture attack.”
Nierman is a crisis management expert and author who serves as the Founder and CEO of Red Banyan, a globally renowned public relations firm. Over his two decades working in strategic communications, Nierman has guided celebrities, business executives, household brands, and presidential candidates through high-stakes situations. Sachs is the Senior Vice President of Client Success at Red Banyan.
Offering a non-partisan critique of cancel culture’s force, the authors also examine how both sides of the political aisle have weaponized cancel culture against their opponents. Nierman and Sachs answer why politicians are hard to cancel, why the everyday person is most at risk, what parents need to discuss with their kids about cancel culture, and how the focus on deplatforming individuals discourages the values of forgiveness and compassion.
The authors have also launched the online informational hub, www.cancelculture.com. As the site expands, visitors will find various related topics, tips for what to do when facing cancelation, and direct access to help from an expert team.
“The Cancel Culture Curse: From Rage to Redemption in a World Gone Mad” is available at Amazon and wherever books are sold. “The Cancel Culture Curse” is published by Skyhorse Publishing Inc. and distributed by Simon & Schuster.
- Faran Fagen, who teaches high school journalism, graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Journalism degree and from Florida Atlantic University with a degree in Education. He's worked at The Palm Beach Post, SunSentinel, and MLB.com. He lives in Coral Springs with his wife and two children. Oh, and his three dogs -- who all think that they're his favorite.
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