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Corporations & Cancellation: Brands & Products

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While the world struggles with a pandemic, there has been considerable focus by the right on their manufactured culture war. One aspect of manufacturing this war is using hyperbole and lies to make up a problem where none exists. Two recent examples of this include the right’s outrage around  Dr. Seuss and Mr. Potato Head. The right claimed that Dr. Seuss and Mr. Potato Head have been cancelled by the left. As I noted in earlier essays, Dr. Seuss’ books have not been banned. While the right’s narrative around Dr. Seuss implied that popular books such as the Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham had been cancelled,  the reality is that Dr. Seuss’ estate chose to stop publishing six books because they  contain illustrations that “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.” These books seem to have been relatively poor sellers and most people seem to be unfamiliar with them. Politicians and pundits on the right generally did not focus on these six books, choosing instead to mislead the public by implying that all Dr. Seuss books had been cancelled or that at least very popular books had been cancelled. For example, Ted Cruz sold signed (by him) copies of Green Eggs and Ham and raised $125,000. He claimed that this was strike back against cancel culture. While Cruz has a history with that book, it is not one of the six books that the estate decided to stop selling. There are good reasons to avoid using the six books: some of them do have racist content and the right would not look particularly good to the public if they explicitly defended racist content. To use an analogy, this would be like a company deciding to stop producing a product that has been show to be harmful and having some people “defend” the company by focusing on their good products and ignoring the harmful one. However, the right’s base presumably gets the message: the right has not rushed to battle censorship in general, such as efforts to get books removed from libraries. Instead, they focus. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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