J.K. Rowling: “The attempt to intimidate me is meant as a warning to other women”

J.K. Rowling: “The attempt to intimidate me is meant as a warning to other women.” By Ted Balaker.

A celebrity says something problematic. Twitter goes nuts. The celebrity faces the real or potential loss of income and status. Eventually the dust settles, and the celebrity continues to enjoy the trappings of fame and wealth.

Does that mean cancel culture doesn’t exist?

For many, the answer is yes. … Such observers fixate on the seen, but overlook the unseen. Cancel culture is not primarily about the splashy spectacle everyone’s talking about, and it’s not primarily about the celebrity in the crosshairs.

Cancel culture’s most important impact will be felt elsewhere. Rowling reflects on those who overlook the powerful, but less obvious chill generated by the controversy.

The pushback is often, ‘You are wealthy. You can afford security. You haven’t been silenced.’ All true. But I think that misses the point. The attempt to intimidate and silence me is meant to serve as a warning to other women” with similar views who may also wish to speak out, Rowling says in the podcast.

And I say that because I have seen it used that way,” Rowling continues. She says other women have told her they’ve been warned: “Look at what happened to J.K. Rowling. Watch yourself. …

Its chill touches everyone from industry up-and-comers to gatekeepers who decide what kind of content reaches the masses.

They self censor and hush up, and that quiet response emboldens the next snarkster to quip about cancel culture’s nonexistence.