Cancel Culture: A State-by-State Overview of the Most Merciless Americans

Ah, cancel culture, a phrase that sends shivers down the spines of just about anybody in the public eye. If you’re on social media, chances are pretty high that you’ve witnessed some of the consequences of ‘cancel culture’ for your once-upon-a-time favorite star. From the likes of - J.K. Rowling, Ellen DeGeneres, Kanye West, and more recently Lizzo, (just to name a few), the internet is unrelenting.

Over the past decade, we’ve harnessed the force of internet-fueled outrage, to bid farewell to anything that remotely offends us. ‘Canceling’ is often a go-to reaction whenever something or should we say, someone, challenges or goes against our opinions. 

Although it’s a phrase that many argue has been overused, we wanted to find out which state has the highest prevalence of cancel culture, which is the most forgiving, and America’s view of cancel culture, in general. To do this, we surveyed 2,000 Americans and created our own unique weighted scale to find out their view on the topic, and if there truly is no redemption.

Key findings -

  • California is the state with the highest cancel culture

  • 52.3% of Americans said they would cancel a celebrity by unfollowing them on social media

  • Idaho is the most forgiving state, with the lowest cancel culture

Cancel Culture

Cancel culture winner: the state with the fiercest canceling reputation

We delved into the data to see which States are most likely to be boarding the ‘canceling’ bandwagon, with a first-class ticket to cancel-ville.

We’ve revealed that the state with the highest level of cancel culture is the West Coast’s very own Golden State of California. Perhaps, it’s no big shocker - after all, L.A. is the hotspot for both the seasoned stars and the up-and-comers. 

Out of the participants surveyed, California had the highest score of 100 (scale based on 0-100) for cancel culture. The star-studded state also had the highest unfollow rate on social media, as 59% of participants said they would unfollow someone who had been canceled. Alongside this, the main reason for canceling a celebrity would be for inappropriate social media actions. Note to self: absolutely do not get on the wrong side of Californians.

In second place, coming in hot and heavy right behind California, is Kentucky - at a score of 99 - ouch. Participants from the Bluegrass state actually had the highest response to writing negatively on social media about a canceled star, with 18% of them saying they would do so. It’s fair to say that the virtual pitchforks aren’t being put down any time soon.

In third place is the Southern state of Alabama, with 86.6% of respondents stating they would unfollow someone on social media based on them being canceled, and inappropriate social media actions being the top reason for the canceling! Not so ‘sweet home Alabama’ anymore.

Some other unforgiving states and notable mentions were; Virginia, Colorado, and Michigan.

States of redemption: Which states are the most forgiving?

In a time where the lines are blurred as to what is ‘cancelable’, there are definitely some states that are more forgiving than others. Those who are ready to let bygones be bygones and hang their ‘social media police’ hat up. 

Canceling a celebrity might not be everyone's go-to move, and that rings true for one state in particular. Kicking things off as the most forgiving state, we have Idaho. Respondents from Idaho have an impressive score of 0, meaning they are most unlikely to cancel a celebrity that overstepped the line. 64% of Idaho-based respondents said they would not unfollow someone based on them being canceled, with 0% saying they would not write negatively on social media about said celebrity. 

Wisconsin is also happy to make peace with canceled celebrities, with an impressive score of 2 out of 100. The state had a 50/50 split when asked if they’d unfollow them on social media, but they could definitely agree on something - hiding behind their keyboards to display their hatred wasn’t their style, as 0% opted for not writing negatively about a star on social media based on them being canceled. 

In third place we have Nebraska, with a score of 6. Over half (53.8%) of respondents agreed they wouldn't unfollow on social media, but of those who would, 31% would actually refollow the celebrity. The majority of respondents agreed that it would only take them 1-6 months to refollow a celebrity.

A nationwide view: Here’s why Americans would cancel celebrities

Here’s the deal - sometimes social media users are simply after a good old apology, a peace offering from the cancelation gods. And a public apology can work like a magical ‘uncancel’ button in the less severe cases, but let’s find out just how accepting Americans are as a nation.

Just over 50% of U.S. residents surveyed would unfollow a celebrity if they were canceled, but 69% of respondents would actually refollow them in the future. We asked respondents how long it would take them to ‘forgive’ these celebrities and hit ‘refollow’, the top choice for Americans was after a year. It turns out that social media actions would be the top choice to really get under Americans’ skin, and would be the most common reason for canceling a celebrity! 

In summary

It’s fair to say that social media has a bit of a crush on the ‘’canceling’’ game. But here’s the twist: the canceling culture often turns out to be less about complete disappearance (in most cases) but more a stern finger wag.

But it poses the question: how quickly should we toss stars into the ‘cancel’ bin? With ‘cancel culture’ being more rife than ever, it is argued that the lines are often blurred. Though one thing is for sure, some states are standing strong with the topic.


We surveyed 2,000 Americans in August 2023 about their opinions towards cancel culture. For the cancel score, we provided a weighted scoring system that considered whether respondents would unfollow a canceled celebrity, whether they would write negatively on social media about a canceled celebrity, and how long it would take them to refollow a celebrity. 

We opted for a weighted scoring system as each of these factors affected the scoring differently, some being more strongly than others. Each state was then scored on a scale of 0-100.

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