A List of 25 People, Products and Companies American Conservatives Have Tried to ‘Cancel’
Conservatives in America are big fans of calling Democrats (and anyone left of that) “sensitive,” “easily triggered” or “snowflakes.” Serious concerns about racism, homophobia and bigotry are often brushed aside as overreactions — a fun way of gaslighting those of us with, you know, morals. Now, one might think that — logically speaking — right-wingers possess the immaculate mental fortitude to never be bothered by anything at all. Of course, you’d be wrong, as conservative cancel culture is alive and well on American shores.
Right-wingers claim to be staunch crusaders against the reign of “cancel culture,” so they would never partake in boycotts of — to use one completely random example — paper coffee cups deemed to be anti-Christmas, right?
And it just gets more ridiculous from there.
We’ve compiled a rundown of conservative cancel culture in a nutshell: 25 times these “anti-cancel culture” right-wingers have tried to cancel a company, person or product:
Anti-LGBTQ hate group leader Tony Perkins (of the Family Research Council) often cries about “cancel culture.” Except, of course, when it’s conservative cancel culture, like when he tries to cancel Coke. Coca-Cola’s CEO James Quincey recently released a statement regarding Georgia’s new voting rights legislation that restricts access to voting — predominantly for BIPOC. In response, Tony Perkins sent out this email: “Fifty-two percent of GOP voters, like myself, say they’re less likely to buy Coke products now. … As for what everyday Americans can do, boycotts are just the beginning.”
2. Colin Kaepernick
After the then-49ers quarterback peacefully protested during the National Anthem, Republicans all over the country (including, yes, then presidential candidate Tr*mp) had something to say about it. Here’s a detailed timeline of Kaepernick’s protest.
This is a weird instance of conservative cancel culture because it resulted in a lot of destruction of private property (conservatives hate that!!), but it was OK I guess because they were … destroying … their own … property? Smart. This brilliant little movement began because the company decided to pull its ads from Sean Hannity’s FOX News TV show after his coverage of Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, who had then been accused of sexual assault.
(I need everyone to take a pause here to remember that you can’t boycott something you’ve already purchased. Because you’ve already purchased it.)
In April of 2016, Target released a statement about its commitment to inclusivity and its support of the Equality Act. Target also stated, “We welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.” But because treating people with respect and dignity are concepts that conservatives cannot comprehend, right-wingers called for a boycott of Target during the holiday season. One group called 2nd Vote released a video explaining why it would be shopping elsewhere during the Christmas season. So … was the boycott just for Christmas? Were they only angry about their transphobic agenda during the holidays? Explain this to me.
5. Starbucks Red Cups
Another seasonal masterpiece of conservative cancel culture. It’s 2015, and Starbucks releases its minimalist red holiday cups for the season. But what’s this? No Jesus? The Color of Satan? You guessed it, folks. It’s a war on Christmas.
6. Nike Shoes
In 2018, Nike launched a campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick and the words “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
First the @NFL forces me to choose between my favorite sport and my country. I chose country. Then @Nike forces me to choose between my favorite shoes and my country. Since when did the American Flag and the National Anthem become offensive? pic.twitter.com/4CVQdTHUH4
— Sean Clancy (@sclancy79) September 3, 2018
Once again, nothing says “owning the libs” by burning your own property that you bought yourself with your own money!
7. Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda is one of the coolest and most badass women alive, so obviously conservative cancel culture wanted to silence her. When Kent State University invited the actress and activist to speak at the 50th Commemoration of its May 4, 1970, shooting, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose took to Facebook to urge them to rescind the offer. He accused Fonda of treason.
In a short film entitled “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be,” the razor brand Gillette challenged men to do and be better in light of the #MeToo movement.
Conservatives went absolutely bonkers.
The #Gillette commercial is the product of mainstream radicalized feminism— & emblematic of Cultural Marxism.
LET LITTLE BOYS WRESTLE.
Despite what Lena Dunham tells you, women are not into beta males & men are not into chicks w/ armpit hair.
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) January 15, 2019
9. The Lorax
Fox News was furious that Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax (which was made into a film adaptation in 2012) encouraged kids to care about the planet. Because the network is literally a villain from a children’s book come to life.
As a reminder, Fox News has not always been on Team Dr. Seuss pic.twitter.com/Qpm1dXj4tL
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 3, 2021
Just a few years later, Fox News and the conservative cancel culture machine started bitching that the left was trying to cancel Dr. Seuss when the company took six of his own books containing racist content out of circulation. So racism is OK, but saving the Earth is wrong. Got it.
10. The Chicks
Way back in 2003, legendary country icons The Chicks spoke out against the Iraq War, commenting onstage they were ashamed that President Bush was from Texas. The trio was essentially blacklisted from country music for years.
11. A 16-year-old girl (Greta Thunberg)
A particularly bizarre aspect of the Tr*mp administration was the constant harassment of children via social media by grown-ass adults. When Greta Thunberg spoke at the United Nations Climate Summit in 2019, conservatives felt incredibly threatened by this 16-year-old girl, some going as far as to call her “mentally ill.”
After Gina Carano was fired by Disney for being a despicable person who compared being a Republican today to the experiences of being a Jewish person during the Holocaust, #CancelDisneyPlus began trending on Twitter, courtesy of the conservative cancel culture machine.
The blacklisting of Gina Carano is proof that the left views anyone who dissents as people who must be destroyed. They hate you. Don’t live in denial or pretend otherwise. Stop trying to be friends or debate them. They want you in gulags. Get your mind in the fucking game!
— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) February 11, 2021
The gulags are a very real thing we do in the United States.
After beauty blogger Amanda Ensing began to share weird conspiracy theories about the “rigged election” and voice her support of the January 6 mob at the Capitol, Sephora dropped her. Conservatives who supported her took to harassing the brand on social media.
14. Lil Nas X
His crime? Being sexy. (But also — more accurately — being Black and being gay.)
NASCAR banned the Confederate flag at events, stating, “The presence of the Confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry.” The right was infuriated. They protested. They flew Confederate flags over the Talladega Superspeedway with a banner reading DEFUND NASCAR. Just … really bizarre behavior from people who swear they’re not racists.
Fox News did an entire segment on how it didn’t understand Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance in 2016, which is a humiliating thing to admit on national TV. A Miami police union tried to boycott her concert. Rudy Giuliani called the Queen’s halftime show “outrageous.”
17. Laura Dern
After her cameo as Ellen’s love interest in the sitcom’s 1997 coming-out episode, Laura Dern said she had trouble finding work. “We all spent the next couple of years really struggling in work and safety,” she said. “It was radical to experience that. It was the only time I ever experienced having to have full security detail.”
18. Campbell’s Soup
Conservatives hate soup, which makes sense, because soup is warm and comforting. First, in 2010 right-wingers threw a fit over halal soups (certified by the Islamic Society of North America) being made by the company, because God forbid Muslims get to eat; then they freaked out over a 2015 Campbell’s ad that featured two gay dads.
Creepy fundamentalist group One Million Moms wrote, “Obviously, Campbell’s is sending the message that homosexual men are raising children, whom they wouldn’t have if a woman wasn’t involved, and they are OK with it.” Uhh … yeah?
When Guinness pulled out of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade because of the organizers’ continued exclusion of LGBTQ groups, the beer brand was called “thuggish.” Laura Ingraham also went out of her way to say that the desire of LGBTQ groups to be included in such events is “petty and a waste of time,” which is ironic coming from a woman whose entire career has been petty and a waste of time.
Hallmark has been including more and more LGBTQ characters in its holiday films, because LGBTQ people in real life also do things like celebrate holidays. According to conservative cancel culture, this is not “family-friendly” entertainment. There have been petitions. There have been angry tweets. Because what says “family-friendly” more than dictating who gets to fall in love?
Ritz Crackers launched its “Where There’s Love, There’s Family” ad for the 2020 holiday season, and yes, unsurprisingly its inclusion of LGBTQ folks made conservatives very, very angry. The American Family Association, whose mission involves using religion to be abhorrent, demanded the brand “drop the commercial and its agenda to redefine family, gender and sexuality.”
In support of the It Gets Better project, Doritos makers offered to send rainbow-colored chips to anyone who donated at least $10 to the organization. Mike Huckabee, a person whose name we never want to hear again, threw a fit over it, going so far as to join forces with American Renewal Project (ARP) to demand a boycott of all snacks made by Frito-Lay.
So on the one hand, you have a group of people who want to help LGBTQ kids who are being bullied or contemplating suicide. And on the other hand, you have a group of people “triggered” by rainbow color chips. Dan Savage, who started It Gets Better, said, “I don’t see how a gay bag of chips limits anyone else’s religious freedom.”
In the early 2000s, Ford was placing ad campaigns in gay publications. That’s all. As a result, at least 19 conservative groups (led by the one and only American Family Association) decided to boycott the company, even setting up a website called “Boycott Ford.”
Conservatives everywhere started to cry when they saw these two women share a kiss on TV. One Million Moms had a full-on freakout on its website, making a statement about “brainwashing the children” and a “cultural war.” There was, as there often is in these situations, a petition.
25. Uber Eats
We have to say, those One Million Moms — who is realistically one mom (seriously) — seem to have a lot of time on their hands. It’s a little funny to imagine all one million of them sitting around frantically writing up petitions in between shaking their fists at the sky and decrying the LGBTQ agenda of just … living. Anyway, when Uber Eats recently featured Olympic gymnast Simone Biles and Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness in ads, conservative cancel culture had another meltdown. And — you guessed it — there was a petition.
Did we miss your favorite moment of conservative cancel culture? What random and completely arbitrary brand or media personality do you predict we’ll be adding to this list in the future?
Image at top from Twitter user @sclancy79