Title: Canceled: Inside YouTube Cancel Culture by Chris Boutté
Published: July 25, 2019 (self published)
Rating: 3/5 ★★★
Notes: This is currently available free to read with Kindle Unlimited (not an ad, just a PSA). There is also a bit of swearing, so language-sensitive people should beware
In May of 2019, the entire world was introduced to the growing epidemic of cancel culture. Tati Westbrook dropped her video “Bye Sister” accusing James Charles of not only being a bad friend, but she accused him of being a sexual predator as well. As James Charles continued to lose millions of subscribers in a matter of days, major media outlets were shocked at what was happening. Luckily, James Charles was able to clear his name, but the psychological damage was done.
We’re living in a time where millions of people around the world aspire to be famous YouTubers, Twitch streamers, Tik Tok stars or Instagram influencers, but nobody is prepared for the possibility of being canceled. One of the main reasons cancel culture is such a problem is because nobody talks about it and does their best to move forward. It’s like trauma victims just trying to forget and move on even though their story can help others.
In March, I was canceled. Aside from losing 20,000 subscribers and being financially ruined, my reputation was destroyed. After months of therapy and realizing that this is something we need to talk about, I decided to finally be completely honest about my experience. For months now, I’ve been protecting many big YouTubers who were involved with this by not sharing their secrets because I don’t want anyone to go through what I’ve been through, but all of that has changed.
I’m finally breaking my silence and am going to share the whole truth for the first time ever in my book titled Canceled coming out Friday, July 19th.
“‘Fuck it. I’ll tell my story and maybe it can help someone because that’s all that matters.'”
I have been interested in Cancel Culture for a long time and I was really hoping this would be the intelligent, psychological and sociological dissection of the phenomenon that I’ve been looking for. Unfortunately, this was mostly a rant and tell-all about Boutté’s being canceled. I admit, the drama interested me, so I stayed to see how everything played out, but I was let down and slightly annoyed throughout.
“The massive issue with cancel culture is there’s no spectrum of how bad you fucked up.”
Boutté did state a lot of facts in this book. He started the book talking about his struggle with addiction and eventual sobriety, then eased into him making a YouTube channel
and a few bad decisions where he would come to be canceled. His analysis of cancel culture, while mostly shallow and including the bare minimum of psychology that I was already aware of, wasn’t nearly as entertaining as watching the rise and fall of The Rewired Soul.
I had no previous knowledge of this YouTube channel or the drama surrounding it, so I was pretty impartial while reading. Of course, Boutté was biased, but it was clear he was trying to be as unbiased as possible. That didn’t quite pan out, but I admire the honesty. Boutté made some pretty bad decisions that merit scrutiny, but I think canceling him was an over exaggeration. But that’s just my point of view, based on pretty biased evidence.
“I need people who stand by me, understand that I screw up sometimes, but that makes me human and not an evil person.”
To get down to business:
The writing was pretty immature in the sense that there were grammatical errors and it could have used more editing. The book didn’t need to be as long and repetitive as it was. I did, however, enjoy the analogies.
The subject matter was entertaining enough. Boutté went on several rants that distracted from the message but overall it gave a pretty good outline of what it’s like to be canceled in the YouTube community.
It wasn’t what I was expecting, and I think it missed the mark on being an extensive guide to cancellation in the YouTube community. I enjoyed some bits, but not enough, and I would only recommend it to people who really love YouTube or have absolutely no idea what cancel culture is.