It’s not yet business as usual for many companies struggling to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Toxic cancel culture further strains the ability of businesses to recover if they fall prey to misplaced political passions fuelled by cunning political operators.

Understanding today's business environment

Businesses continue to grapple for survival even as if we have hurdled the critical stages of the COVID19 pandemic. Based on a study by the World Bank during the heat of the pandemic, about 9200 surveyed firms did not have enough cash to pay all costs and payments such as payroll, suppliers, taxes, or loan repayment beyond 1 month

Tensions in Russia and Ukraine, climate change, and the post-COVID19 economic aftermath have taken its toll on business operations and companies' financial positions. As such, some companies have been forced to look at their pockets and implement financial austerity measures which includes separating with their employees. Based on the Philippine Statistics Authority's 2021 Labor Turnover Statistics, about 15 in every 1000 employed persons were laid off/displaced due to business conditions.

These circumstances should give enough reason for consumers to support businesses to stimulate economic recovery and keep businesses afloat. Unfortunately, some choose to prioritize their misplaced political egos.

Understanding Philippine Cancel Culture

Pop Culture Dictionary defines cancel culture as "popular practice of withdrawing support for public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive." This is based on other people's "value judgment."

Those who have been part of a cancel movement justify cancel culture as a way of holding individuals accountable for their actions; and call out social discrimination such as racism and sexism, among others.

In the Philippines, 1 in about 5 Filipinos have participated in a cancel movement based on a survey by research firm Milieu Insight in July 2022. Interestingly, cancel culture is more directed towards public figures (potentially more than companies) due to cultural appropriation and political stance.

In the same study, Filipinos surveyed generally view cancel culture as cruel, aggressive, and excessive more than normal and helpful, which is indicative that Filipinos still regard cancel culture as negative more than positive.

This explains why many level-headed social media users have come to the defense of a certain brand after some groups have called for a boycott in the use of its application. In the end, many politically orchestrated cancel movements fail for being too emotional than rational.

At the end of the day...

Businesses exist so that people can earn a living from legitimate economic activities, not to advance a political agenda. Businesses provide jobs, not political insight. Businesses are motivated by revenues, not political votes.

The term “cancel” by itself is already a negative word. Instead of cancelling businesses, why don’t we help them recover by supporting/consuming/using their products and services? Why can’t we have a concerted effort to patronize businesses instead of cancelling them?

What we should cancel altogether is the Cancel Culture perpetuated by political forces as a form of political propaganda.

Let us #CancelTheCancelCulture !


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