Aug 14, 2020

The value of cancel culture is up for debate, as is the appropriateness of Cardi B’s new NSFW song “WAP.”

Culture+ is an editorial series that looks at trending topics and events with an eye toward what they reveal about our shifting culture. This week, we take a look at the return of cancel culture, popular TV series reboots, and how one song started a conversation about feminism, big cats, and the alt-right.

Cancel culture is a divisive trend. The question at-hand: Does canceling someone, or something, invoke positive change, or should reflection and redemption be considered acceptable?

This week, CBSN Originals premiered the documentary Cancel Culture online. As well,  a multi-part episode of “The Daily” podcast examined multiple recent cases of cultural cancellation. Meanwhile, many staffers of Bon Appétit magazine announced their resignations, thereby “canceling” their affiliation with the publication that came under fire for underpaying people of color (the protests included, notably, video personality Alex Delany’s multi-slide Instagram statement revealing how much he gets paid and addressing his privilege and troubling past actions). Bath & Body Works was trending on Twitter after the company’s candle sale led to a number of tweets pointing out how the store was previously “canceled” for being racist.

Also making headlines was a clip of conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro reading the lyrics to Cardi B and Meghan Thee Stallion’s new song “WAP.” It was a moment that horrified the internet.

Here’s a look at what’s trending this week:

1. It’s alright, Saved By The Bell is coming back. NBC’s streaming platform, Peacock, will reboot the popular 90s series with some of the original cast, including Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley.


2. In other reboot news, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will also return in a dramatized version based on a trailer from Morgan Cooper, which went viral last year. The series is still being shopped around to streaming services.

3. Bon Appetit’s test kitchen staff is leaving the publication, one by one. At least five staffers announced they were either quitting the publication entirely, or no longer appearing in videos. Staffer Alex Delany also issued a public statement addressing his compensation and discussing his privilege and past troubling actions.

4. Is cancel culture effective in providing positive results? A two-part episode of "The Daily" this week examines just that.

5. There’s a global health pandemic happening but influencers do not care. Popular influencers like Jake Paul are hosting massive parties at their L.A. mansions with no regard for public health.

6. With all of the discussion surrounding the ban of TikTok in the U.S., The Wall Street Journal revealed how much TikTok is tracing user data.

7. Cardi B and Meghan Thee Stallion released a song called “WAP” this week that was very sexual, and a lot of people have opinions on it. Despite men rapping about sex for years, the vulgar track garnered a lot attention—especially from conservatives. A clip of political commentator Ben Shapiro reading the lyrics went viral, causing Cardi B to tweet: “I can’t believe conservatives soo mad about WAP.”

And that’s not all. Carole Baskin weighed in on the song and video, bashing the artists for allegedly using big cats in front of a green screen to create the video.

8. Two twins made Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” go viral 47 years after its release. How? They listened to it for the first time. See their reactions.


9. Remember Blockbuster? Well if you do, and you’re nostalgic for it, there’s a perfect AirBnB just for you. The last Blockbuster store is now available for one-night stays.

10. It’s only August, but here’s a viral recap of 2020 so far. (Spoiler alert: it’s not great.)

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