Ask an expert!

As always, we have a group of experts ready to take your questions about this topic! Who would you like to pose a question to and what would you ask? Add your questions in the comments below. We'll choose 5 to ask each expert and post their responses on the Hub!


Billy Bragg
Billy is a singer-songwriter and activist. As you can see from the video below, he feels cancel culture is a way to hold individuals to account for what they're saying and sees it as a way for the public to heard. Watch Billy's answers. What would you like to ask Billy?


Lily Silverton
Lily is a well-being coach, speaker and journalist. In the video below, Lily explains how cancel culture, as it is, doesn't always give much chance for people to be sorry for their mistakes. Watch Lily's answers. What would you like to ask Lily?

We'll be coming back to this video in Session 4 of this Issue, so keep your thoughts and questions ready to share then, too!


Alex Miller
Alex is a journalist who has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Independent. Alex recently wrote an article about cancel culture and race, highlighting how sometimes people "cancel" people or TV shows, on behalf of black people. He wrote: "The thing with canceling is that it makes white people feel like they’re doing something useful. But the Black community never asked people to destroy or defund or edit media output which has graced our televisions and our movie theaters and libraries for decades. That isn’t the root cause of discrimination against us. Often, it feels like the (usually white) powers-that-be preempt some sort of angry backlash from my community and act accordingly. Don’t do that.

Yet, I’m not one of those people who hates “cancel culture” as a concept. In fact, I think a healthy bit of canceling and de-platforming can go a long way. Some people have the power to cause unimaginable harm with their words, and should be sanctioned by the businesses that facilitate the spread of their views accordingly. Donald Trump still has a voice, but it helps that it’s no longer on the national stage or, indeed, on Twitter or Facebook. Others like him deserve every sanction they get. The question, as always, is about intent.

For those keyboard warriors who wait for someone to mess up as if it’s some kind of sport, I would say: Stop thinking for communities you’re not a part of and stop trying to predict the future. Creativity is what makes us human. We’ve reached a disconnect between intent and reaction, and that can only be damaging. If you have to work hard to see the malice — and especially if you’re seeing it on behalf of someone else — then I implore you, in the words of Gen Z, to take several seats.What would you like to ask Alex?


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Comments (13)

  • Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg decisive_redcurrant | Michael Faraday School
    05 Jun 2021

    My question is for Alex Miller and my question is what do you think is the main reason why people decide to cancel culture?
    My other question is for Lilly Silverton and it is is it fair for people to cancel someone for just one mistake?

    Reply to this comment
  • avatar.jpg EXPERT: Caitlin Prasad @ Clifford Chance
    07 Jun 2021

    My question is for Alex Miller. My question is: without canceling racist content found in television shows, movies and literature, what is the best approach to adopt to prevent the perpetuation and normalization of racist views and ensure that future generations do not assimilate such views? I completely agree that media is not the root cause of discrimination and racism, but it does seem to help maintain and propagate it among society- so how can we mitigate the effects of this (given that we are constantly surrounded by television, phone, tablet and computer screens), without invoking cancel culture? Thank you!

    Reply to this comment
  • New-Horizons-logo-250x250.jpg serious_night | New Horizons Children's Academy
    07 Jun 2021

    my question is for Lily Silverton do you think it is possible to stop cancel culture

    Reply to this comment
  • New-Horizons-logo-250x250.jpg buzzing_grapefruit | New Horizons Children's Academy
    08 Jun 2021

    My question for Lily Silverton is ‘Do you think some people should get punished less than other people for example famous people and if so why?
    Have a great day. I would just like to say something about what I think about Cancelling culture. I think cancelling culture is unfair; as Lily Silverton mentioned, people won’t really get to learn from their mistakes and to add onto that it’s just like sending a child to a corner every single time they are bad instead of telling them why it’s bad and giving them a chance.

    Reply to this comment
  • Cheam Park logo quickwitted_groundhog | Cheam Park Farm Primary
    10 Jun 2021

    what are we doing this term I AM REALLY ENJOYING BNC.

    Reply to this comment
  • Manor Park logo selfassured_journalist | Manor Park Primary Academy
    13 Jun 2021

    My question is for Alex Miller. My question is: Considering the benefits and disadvantages of cancelling people, is it really ok to cancel anyone? I'm asking this as some people will just be rude, mean, irresponsible and irrational. So is it alright if we cancel out these people? Or do the critics also deserve a chance?

    Reply to this comment
  • New-Horizons-logo-250x250.jpg buzzing_grapefruit | New Horizons Children's Academy
    14 Jun 2021

    My question is for Alex Miller.
    Do you think that sometimes cancel culture can be fair or do you think that it’s always unfair no matter what?

    Reply to this comment
  • Cheam Common logo wondrous_orca | Cheam Common Junior Academy
    17 Jun 2021

    My question is for Lily Miller
    What makes you see cancel culture the way you do? Do you think that cancel culture should happen?

    Reply to this comment
  • Cheam Common logo wondrous_orca | Cheam Common Junior Academy
    17 Jun 2021

    I meant Lily Silverton

    Reply to this comment
  • Cheam Park logo eager_reflection | Cheam Park Farm Primary
    17 Jun 2021

    eager_reflection here,
    I would like to ask Billy Bragg: When do you think people take it too far when cancelling someone? Do you think cancel culture is the best way to bring someone to justice?
    I would like to ask Lily Silverton: When should you cancel someone instead of challenging them? Do think that sometimes, people do not see both sides of the story when they cancel someone?
    I would like to ask Alex Miller: Do you think that people are scared to share their opinion because they might be cancelled? Do you think that it is fair that people have their careers destroyed because of cancel culture?
    I would like to ask all of them: Before social media, was there cancel culture in the media (such as newspapers and TV)?
    Thanks for reading.

    Reply to this comment
  • Upton-Cross-logo-250x250.jpg discreet_drum | Upton Cross Primary School
    20 Jun 2021

    I would like to ask Billy Brag - Should we still tolerate racists, who are still in power in the media world?

    I would like to ask Lily Silverton - Donald Trump got cancelled from social media, only at the end of his presidency. Should he have been cancelled much earlier when it became clear the damaging effects of his views and opinions? Is it really possible to cancel someone democratically elected while they are in office?

    I would like to ask Alex Miller - Who should decide who should get cancelled, how and why? Is it based on what people post on social media?

    Reply to this comment
  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg impartial_shark | Boutcher C of E Primary School B
    22 Jun 2021

    my question is:
    Do you think cancel culture effects freedom of speech and freedom rights? Shouldn't we all hear the opinions of others even if it hurts some people?

    Reply to this comment
  • Upton-Cross-logo-250x250.jpg discreet_drum | Upton Cross Primary School
    23 Jun 2021

    I would like to ask Billy Brag - Donald Trump got cancelled from social media, only at the end of his presidency. Should he have been cancelled much earlier when it became clear the damaging effects of his views and opinions? Is it really possible to cancel someone democratically elected while they are in office?

    I would like to ask Alex Miller - Who should decide who should get cancelled, how and why? Is it based on what people post on social media?

    Reply to this comment

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