Manila, Philippines – The term ‘cancel culture’ or the term for boycotting public figures that are found to be problematic–is becoming more prevalent within the younger generations in the Philippines. Cancel culture remains linked to the call for accountability, and Milieu Insight has conducted a recent survey to learn more about the factors and perspectives that shape cancel culture locally.

According to the data, around 1 in 5 Filipinos have joined in a ‘cancel’ movement, with 66% saying they joined because they did not agree with the actions/opinions of the person or group, and 54% said they joined because he person or group is or was involved in a controversy.

Locally, cancel culture skews towards cancelling public figures due to cultural issues such as cultural appropriation (50%) and political stance (48%). Within the Southeast Asian region, respondents’ withdrawal of support tended to be racism (54%), sexual assault (50%) and physical violence (48%).

Meanwhile, around 31% of Southeast Asians said a person/group that was ‘cancelled’ can always or often be forgiven or given the opportunity to make a public appearance. This sentiment is shared by more Filipinos, with 41% being more agreeable to giving a cancelled entity a second chance – the highest rate among the different Southeast Asian countries.

Most local respondents describe cancel culture to be cruel (45%) and aggressive (35%) but those who have been part of a cancel movement tended to view it as normal (30% vs 17% overall), helpful (22% vs 8% overall), and progressive (16% vs 11% overall). This reflects their belief that cancelling is a useful tool to demand responsibility from public figures. In addition, the majority of Filipinos agreed that cancel movements are a fair punishment (76%) for wrongdoers to be held responsible, and 78% see them as effective in doing so.

Around 51% of Filipinos also say that cancel culture happens too often, significantly higher than those who say it happens just as often as it should (42%).

In the recent Philippines’ national elections, people cancelled not only public figures but also their friends and family due to different political beliefs. It is no surprise then that the majority of Filipinos act cautiously both online (92%) and offline (91%) because they are worried about being cancelled themselves.