Actor Alec Baldwin lamented the resignation of Democrat New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday, blaming “cancel culture” even after the state’s attorney general concluded Cuomo had sexually harassed multiple women.
“Regardless of what you think of Cuomo, this is a tragic day,” Baldwin tweeted. “Party politics in this country draw ambitious but ultimately isolated, even socially maladjusted men and women who, given the current cancel culture, will likely have their shortcomings exposed and magnified.”
This is a clear misuse of the common meaning of the phrase. Cancel culture is not about people being punished for doing evil, but them being punished for doing perfectly legitimate or unremarkable things, typically wildly out of proportion to their supposed offense. Federalist writer Tristan Justice defines it as the “deliberate de-platforming or ultimate unemployment of an individual for views fraudulently held to be outside an increasingly turbulent public square, often featuring past statements dug up in bad faith to deploy online mobs against the dissident.”
Cuomo made his resignation Tuesday, a week after the report was released. There was significant pressure from the New York legislature to resign and threats of impeachment looming. The investigation reviewed 179 witnesses and 74,000 pieces of evidence.
“Given the circumstances, the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let the government get back to governing,” Cuomo said in a press conference.
Baldwin has certainly been a friend of the former governor. He worked with Cuomo’s office in 2019 to release a public service video instructing New Yorkers to “stay home” in COVID-19 lockdown mode.
Cuomo was sharply criticized as governor for harsh and anti-science lockdowns that hit the restaurant and bars industry particularly hard. Hundreds of thousands of state residents have fled the state in recent years.
After Baldwin’s tweet, critics on both the left and right pounced on social media.
“Cancel culture is out of control – but what @NYGovCuomo did was not a result of cancel culture – or any culture – it was inappropriate and the idea you are defending it says a lot,” former Trump administration press secretary Sean Spicer said.
Cancel culture is out of control – but what @NYGovCuomo did was not a result of cancel culture – or any culture – it was inappropriate and the idea you are defending it says a lot https://t.co/RIqRkaR27Z
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) August 10, 2021
“TRANSLATION: It’s tragic that powerful white men are facing consequences nowadays for their behavior, especially when said behavior was merely violating women and ruining their careers,” tweeted Adrienne Lawrence, a legal analyst for the far-left show “The Young Turks.”
TRANSLATION: It's tragic that powerful white men are facing consequences nowadays for their behavior, especially when said behavior was merely violating women and ruining their careers 😒 https://t.co/6XPDsmdtAu
— Adrienne Lawrence, Esq. (@AdrienneLaw) August 10, 2021