Most Americans view the current “cancel culture” pressure as a threat to their freedom, a new survey released Monday shows.
In the Harvard CAPS-Harris poll conducted for The Hill, 64% of respondents said there’s “a growing cancel culture” that threatens their freedom; 36% disagreed.
The survey found 36% of Americans said cancel culture is a “big problem,” 32% called it a “moderate problem,” 20% said it’s a “small problem” and 13% said it’s “not a problem.”
The idea of shutting down someone’s career with negative criticism online because of something they said or did has mostly pitted progressives against conservatives in the public arena, Vox reported in an explainer of the debate.
The Hill pointed to the departure of co-host Sharon Osbourne from CBS’ “The Talk” after she defended fellow British media personality Piers Morgan’s takedown of Meghan Markle.
Morgan had doubted the Duchess of Sussex’s admission to Oprah Winfrey of having struggled with mental health issues; his remarks were pilloried as being racist.
“I feel even like I’m about to be put in the electric chair because I have a friend who many people think is a racist, so that makes me a racist,” Osbourne said on “The Talk” during heated discussion about the issue.
In a commentary for the Daily Mail, Morgan defended his friend, writing, “Sharon Osbourne’s quit ‘The Talk,’ driven out for the crime of defending me.”
The poll found 54% of respondents said they were “concerned” if they expressed their opinions online they’d be banned or fired; 46% said they weren’t concerned.
“It is a chilling finding that most people in the country now are afraid they would be fired if they expressed their real views on social media,” poll director Mark Penn told The Hill.
“The public generally gives negative ratings to social media companies and sees the movement as more about censorship rather than trying to correct wrongs. It is growing as a national issue,” he added.
The survey did not record a margin of error for its results.
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