Fox Nation to Stream Series on ‘Cancel Culture’

Subscription streaming platform Fox Nation July 19 will debut a new five-part series, “Canceled in the USA,” hosted by Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent and police officer.

Bongino, who is host of Fox News Channel’s “Unfiltered,” delves into the movement known as “cancel culture,” characterized as a modern form of ostracism, in which someone is outed online or on social media for perceived bias. Featuring a variety of guests who claim to have fallen victim to extreme political correctness, Bongino provides them a platform to share their perspective on why they were “canceled” — and how they managed to thrive in the wake of their public shaming.

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In the premiere episode, Bongino introduces Sam Johnson, the CEO of a medical technology company, who was “canceled” over a dispute with a teenage boy wearing a red dress. A video recording of the dispute went viral and caught the attention of comedian Kathy Griffin, and within 48 hours he was fired from his job. Bongino also tells the story of immigrant author Natasha Tynes, who tweeted out a photo of a black Washington Metro employee who was breaking the rules by eating on the train. Twitter users accused Tynes of racism, which ultimately led to the cancellation of her book contract.

Diving into the entertainment industry and the world of celebrity, Bongino spotlights comedians Gilbert Gottfried and Adam Carolla, both of whom tell their own stories of being canceled in the past. Additionally, Bongino will offer his take on the stories of cancel culture that have rocked the entertainment world, such as host Chris Harrison’s ouster from “The Bachelor” and Kevin Hart’s removal from hosting the Oscars.

They also discuss actress Ellie Kemper’s recent apology for participating in a beauty pageant with a racist past, Roseanne Barr’s firing from her own TV show following a tweet about an advisor to President Barack Obama, and shows like “Friends,” “Sex and the City,” and “Girls” receiving criticism for being “too white.”

The third episode features professors Bruce Gilley and Carol Swain who discuss “cancel culture” on college campuses where they believe the movement began. Gilley produced a controversial article in a major peer-reviewed journal in which he argued the case for colonialism. Soon after its publication, the editorial board began receiving death threats and another professor called for his Ph.D. to be revoked.

Meanwhile, Swain tells the story of students calling for her suspension after she wrote an article critical of Islam in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack. Additionally, former college football coach Kurt Beathard was fired from his job at Illinois State University over what he says were “politics.” After someone put up a Black Lives Matter sign on his office door, Beathard flipped it over and wrote “All Lives Matter to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” causing a stir among the team. He was promptly reassigned before his contract was eventually terminated.

In episode four, Bongino features author Ryan Anderson, who had his book opposing transgender ideology banned from Amazon, as well as Pastor Steve Berger, who faced a petition calling for his firing after the news media inaccurately reported that he attended the Jan. 6 disturbance at the Capitol. Additionally, Bongino will introduce Colleen Oefelein, who was fired from her job at a boutique literary agency for creating accounts on social media platforms Parler and Gab, and Denise Foley, who was fired from her job at MassHealth for commenting that it’s wrong for people to report their neighbors to the authorities for failing to wear a mask.

Controversial journalist Andy Ngo will also explain how Antifa managed to get his book pulled from the shelves at a major Portland bookstore.

In the fifth and final episode, Bongino tells the stories of Americans fighting back against cancel culture and political correctness — including parents in Loudon County, Va., opposing the introduction of critical race theory into their public schools.

‘Cuties’ Director Responds to Media, Political Backlash

NEWS ANALYSIS — In an era of hyper-partisan politics during an election year, Netflix’s French-language film Cuties, about an 11-year-old girl from Senegal who joins a dance troupe to escape an overbearing mother, has found a perfect storm.

No issue riles people more than child endangerment and/or exploitation. Throw in the Internet and social media, and incendiary charges of sexualization of underage girls quickly morph into child pornography and worse.

That’s the reality Netflix and Cuties director Maimouna Doucouré find themselves in as national politicians, parent groups and right-wing media jump on the bandwagon of condemnation — with pitched calls to boycott the film and cancel Netflix subscriptions across social media (#CancelNetflix).

Former presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) called Cuties “child porn” on Twitter, claiming the movie would “certainly whet the appetite of pedophiles [and] help fuel the child sex trafficking trade.”

Netflix says the movie projects the opposite message.

Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children,” the service said in a statement. “It’s an award-winning film [Sundance Film Festival] and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up — and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie.”

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Regardless, Netflix has no less than three petitions circulating on totaling almost 1 million supporters seeking to either remove the movie or drop the service. The platform is undermined in part by its own content tracking metric that registers a viewer after just two minutes. As a result, Cuties — despite requiring English-language captions for most American viewers — is trending as the 7th most-popular program on the platform after launching on Sept. 9.

Then a Sept. 14 report from research firm YipitData suggested Netflix was experiencing record churn, or subscribers not renewing service, with eight times more subs dropping the service on Sept. 12 than did in August, according to Fox Business. Netflix, per policy, does not report churn data. It ended the most-recent fiscal period with 193 million subscribers.

When Netflix tried to soften the movie’s marketing by replacing images of the young female characters in suggestive dance poses, critics only amplified their response.

“By removing the offensive poster and replacing it with a more innocuous one, Netflix might actually have made the situation worse by suggesting that Cuties is nothing more than a cute, coming-of-age movie,” Melissa Henson, program director for the Parents Television Council, a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment, said in a statement.

In a virtual interview hosted by French cinema’s UniFrance, director Doucouré appeared taken aback by the media criticism and social backlash.

“The most import thing is to watch the film and understand we have the same fight [against child exploitation],” Doucouré said, adding she thought the film would be accepted in the U.S. despite differences between French and American culture.

“It played to Sundance and was watched by American people there; I met the public there and they really saw that the film is about a universal issue,” Doucouré said. “It’s not about French society — the hyper-sexualization of children happens through social media and social media is everywhere. People [at Sundance] agreed with that.”

Netflix reports third-quarter fiscal earnings (ending Sept. 30) on Oct. 15.