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Ted Talks Daily / – Let’s reframe cancel culture | Sarah Jones

Ted Talks Daily – Let’s reframe cancel culture | Sarah Jones

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In this episode of Ted Talks Daily, Sarah Jones shares her personal experience with cancel culture and explores its impact on society. She discusses the origins of cancel culture, its potential consequences, and the importance of empathy and understanding in addressing these issues.

Main Takeaways

Cancel Culture and Fear of Cultural Appropriation

  • Sarah Jones talks about her personal experience with cancel culture
  • Fear of cultural appropriation can lead to cancel culture

Understanding Cancel Culture

  • Cancel culture is not new and has affected marginalized communities for most of history
  • Cancel culture is now impacting the powerful and dominant
  • Cancel culture offers some form of restitution for harmful and criminal behavior when the legal system fails to do so
  • Cancel culture is not a perfect system and can sometimes lump in innocent people

Portraying People in Their Full Humanity

  • The speaker’s work is about accurately portraying people in their full humanity, including those in the sex industry
  • Cancel culture can harm the very people it is trying to help
  • The distraction of cancel culture can pull focus from the goal of destigmatizing people in the sex industry

Accountability and Empathy

  • A daily practice of being self-accountable can help unlearn biases and improve our quality of life
  • Surrounding ourselves with trusted people who may be more aware of certain issues than we are can help us own any mistakes we might be making
  • Cancelling people doesn’t solve the problem, it just creates more hurt and angry people
  • Empathizing with each other can lead to healing and real progress


Understanding Cancel Culture and its Impact

Sarah Jones shares her personal encounter with cancel culture and highlights how the fear of cultural appropriation often fuels the phenomenon. She emphasizes that cancel culture is not a new concept and has historically affected marginalized communities. However, she notes that cancel culture is now impacting those in positions of power and dominance. Jones argues that cancel culture, although imperfect, serves as a means of restitution when the legal system fails to address harmful behavior. However, she acknowledges that innocent individuals can sometimes be wrongly lumped into cancel culture. Jones also discusses her work as a performer, aiming to portray people, including those in the sex industry, in their full humanity. She warns that cancel culture can inadvertently harm the very people it aims to protect, diverting attention from the goal of destigmatization.

The Importance of Accountability and Empathy

Jones emphasizes the significance of self-accountability in unlearning biases and improving our lives. She suggests surrounding ourselves with trusted individuals who can help us recognize and address our own mistakes. Instead of resorting to canceling people, Jones advocates for empathy and understanding, as she believes it can lead to healing and genuine progress. She urges individuals to assume good intentions while acknowledging the long road ahead in terms of growth and understanding. Jones concludes by highlighting the transformative power of personal connections, which can turn hurtful events into opportunities for healing and growth.


Sarah Jones’ thought-provoking talk challenges the notion of cancel culture and encourages listeners to approach these issues with empathy and understanding. By reframing cancel culture, she invites us to explore alternative ways of addressing harmful behavior while fostering a more compassionate society.

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