Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine late last month prompted a host of devastating sanctions against Russia, imposed by the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. President Joe Biden has levied a host of sanctions targeting the Russian government, Russian oligarchs, and Russian banking systems.
Putin has attempted to implement sanctions of his own against notable American political figures like Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, including bans on their travel to Russia, which were widely mocked.
Furious that his invasion of a sovereign country prompted backlash from Ukraine's allies, Putin is now accusing western countries of engaging in "cancel culture."
"It's impossible to imagine such a thing in our country"
President Vladimir Putin uses J K Rowling as an example of Western cynicism and "cancel culture", which he says is currently being aimed at Russia.
Latest on Ukraine: https://t.co/XTFXr6HmAe
📺 Sky 501 and YouTube pic.twitter.com/TyH9lddC5k
— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 25, 2022
An interpreter recounted Putin's remarks during a recent press conference, where he said:
"[The West] canceled [J.K.] Rowling recently, the children's author. Her books are published all over the world. Just because she didn't satisfy the demands of gender rights. They're now trying to cancel our country. I'm talking about the progressive discrimination of everything to do with Russia. This trend that's unfolding in a number of western states. ... They're now engaging in the cancel culture."
"Cancel culture"—or the voluntary mass abandonment of support for public figures due to unsavory actions or comments—is a familiar term for Americans, who've frequently heard Republican elected officials and media personalities decry it despite these figures repeatedly engaging in it themselves.
J.K. Rowling, the author of the world renowned Harry Potter series, was supposedly canceled for being a "TERF," or trans-exclusionary radical feminist. The ideology hinges on the belief that transgender women aren't "real" women and shouldn't be included in feminist agendas. Though figures like Putin claim Rowling has been canceled, her Harry Potter books currently make up seven out of 10 of the items on Amazon's "Most Read" list and movies about her wizarding world continue to be produced, with Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore hitting theaters next month.
After constantly hearing the "cancel culture" chorus on repeat from Republicans at home, social media users were maddened to see Putin repeating it abroad.
Putin complaining about cancel culture when he literally sent an army to kill a comedian https://t.co/I9B9XOQWxz
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) March 16, 2022
Putin doing a live speech and just did a bit on "cancel culture" in the West focusing particularly on J. K. Rowling being cancelled. I wish I was joking.
— Sam Freedman (@Samfr) March 25, 2022
finding out vladimir putin used jk rowling as a defense mechanism against “cancel culture” from a film updates account…. lord don’t send the flood just send fire.
— kamani ⭒ (@TEXASTITTIE) March 25, 2022
Putin coming out as pro-JK Rowling and against cancel culture is something that's going to be burned into my head for the rest of my life lmao
— Participation Trophy Wife (@BadPostsLLC) March 25, 2022
I find this circularity fascinating. We laughed when columnists in the UK/US cited things like wokeness & pronouns as reasons why the West had ‘gone soft’ and were no match for Putin. Now Putin seems to have embraced that argument/support & leaned into it pic.twitter.com/NIArKmcgYa
— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) March 25, 2022
It’s not a coincidence that Putin cited JK Rowling as an example of “cancel culture”, claiming “she didn't satisfy the demands of gender [trans] rights.” The movement against “gender ideology” unites a variety of actors but it has a set of fundamental beliefs that they all share.
— Trantigone 🦖🇺🇦 (@2damntrans) March 25, 2022
They used the comments to condemn Putin's aggression toward both Ukraine and dissidents in his own country.
No, Mr Putin, this is ‘cancel culture’. pic.twitter.com/wlduhVYYkq
— Brendan May 🇺🇦 (@bmay) March 25, 2022
Periodic reminder all dissent is being crushed in Russia today https://t.co/g85Pl7czAV
— Erik Wasson (@elwasson) March 25, 2022
Shitty comics Vlad Putin
Bombing then blaming
Cancel culture https://t.co/c7LXN3VwHR
— Drew Absher, I guess (@DrewAbsher) March 25, 2022
In a tweet, Rowling alluded to Putin's comments, writing that "Critiques of Western cancel culture are possibly not best made by those currently slaughtering civilians for the crime of resistance, or who jail and poison their critics."