Close this search box.

How has the “cancel culture” trend influenced creativity and self-expression?


In December 2019, Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling, tweeted in support of the British TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminism,  a belief that Trans-women are not real women and only biology determines gender). This led to intense criticism from her fans, making her one of the most popular “cancelled” individuals.

What was once a means to call public figures to accountability has now seemed to become senseless mob violence. In fact, at the 2020 Republican National Convention, President Trump, amongst other numerous speakers, spoke extensively about cancel culture, with one delegate describing the concept as having “grown into erasing of history, encouraging lawlessness, muting citizens, and violating free exchange of ideas, thoughts, and speech.”

Like JK Rowling, creatives usually have a choice to either voice their opinions through their literary work, though it might lead to canceling or be like plastic in water and just go with the flow of culture.

Here’s what four creatives had to say about the impact of Cancel Culture on creativity and self-expression.

Jimoh Olaitan Mudashir

Actor, filmmaker and model

Canceling often becomes bullying. This further creates feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression in the person being cancelled, also putting mental health at risk.

Oge The Storyteller

Writer, storyteller, content creator and social media manager.

I think the cancel culture trend has negatively affected self-expression. I cannot say the same for creativity because not everyone creates to express themselves. Some people create because they enjoy creating. However, the fear of being cancelled has made people recoil or think twice before putting their thoughts out, even if those thoughts are right.

Abraham Daniel Eleojo

Student, 1 year photography trainee and fashion model.

I see "cancel culture" as a tool used to help public figures and organizations improve. They need to learn to serve the audience what they actually want.

Mogbojuri Demilade

Aspiring Diplomat

Firstly, the 'cancel culture' can bring down a person. I believe that if a popular person is cancelled, the creativity and self-expression of that person is already decreased to zero because, how can you have the energy to be creative if society has cancelled you and decided that anything you put out there is not worth it? It puts people in a hole where all they think of is, 'how do I even show my face again for people to see me as worthy enough.' We have seen that once someone is cancelled, the chances of them rising from that are slim so this definitely influences a person's creativity and self-expression.


As with everything in life, cancel culture needs to have a well thought out balance on both sides. We can not always guarantee that the public will be understanding or kind when you try to voice your opinions; however, here are a few tips you can utilize to ensure that you are never on the wrong side of the table.

1. Learn how to air your views with logical, data-driven techniques: When you create based on facts, it becomes more difficult for the public to argue unnecessarily with you.

2. Respect other people and avoid stating your case in a way that will damage others: You can say what you want without making the other people feel bad about themselves. Ensure you’re always stating facts and not just perceptions when you must mention specific names.

3. Play the emotional intelligence card: Don’t just share your thoughts. Also share why it should matter to the emotions of people. Share how your thought line proves your care for your audience and how it can improve their lives.

The truth is that, as long as you push boundaries, you’ll soon face the mob. However, you should never be afraid to air your thoughts through your creative pieces, especially when they are founded on valid statements.

Have you ever been cancelled before? Share your experiences with us below!

PS. If you would like to contribute as a respondent in the future episodes of the Creative Gist, send us an email to [email protected] or reach us via WhatsApp +2348088809311

Obidike Okafor

Looking at being a powerhouse at content creation, Obidike creates content to help people make informed decisions. He has been a journalist for over a decade and enjoys creating text, audio and video content. He also loves creating business ideas and strategies. Known as the “Oracle Parrot”, Obidike always looks forward to making a difference one life at a time.

Allow our parrots to fly into your mailbox!

Stay up to date with the latest trends, industry insights and outstanding innovators in the creative space, and get access to our wide range of creative resources.

About the Author

About the Author

Application Received

Thank you for your interest in The Big Showcase! Our team will review your application and get back to you soon.

Your Swipe File is Here!

Your custom-made template to organise all of your creative insights and inspirations to make your ideation process more effective.