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SXSW Cancels Cancel Culture Expert Rikki Schlott

Rebel pop culture gathering can't handle author tied to anti-woke discussions

Hollywood has failed free speech over and again in the Age of Woke.

Film festivals are no exception.

The latter are so deeply entrenched in progressive groupthink they rarely open their screenings to right-leaning fare. Nor do they take public stands against censorship, Cancel Culture or woke bylaws in general.

More recently, the Sundance Film Festival backpedaled after screening the film formerly known as “Jihad Rehab.” The celebrated documentary by Megan Smaker earned raves before the woke mob turned on it.

Variety noted last year that other film festivals now shy away from “problematic” content.

The latest film festival embarrassment?

Author Rikki Schlott revealed in The New York Post that she was slated to appear on a panel at the SXSW TV & Film Festival in Austin, Texas.

Until she wasn’t.

An email from SXSW staff, shared with me by the panel’s organizer, reveals the festival was “hesitant to approve” my participation because my commentary has been “focused on the idea of cancel culture.”

Schlott’s new book, “The Canceling of the American Mind,” co-written by Greg Lukianoff, examines the sorry state of woke Western culture.

The festival, which begins today and runs through March 16, planned to include Schlott in a forum on independent voters and the rise of polarization across the culture.

Courage is Contagious: Rikki Schlott on Fighting Back Against Cancel Culture

She’s an independent voter, for starters. She’s also a Gen Z pundit with plenty to say. Perhaps that’s what scared the festival.

“Based on the research I’ve done, I am a bit hesitant to approve Rikki Schlott for this session,” SXSW’s senior director of conference programming wrote in a Tuesday email.

“Her focus the last few months has been nearly solely focused on the idea of cancel culture, which this session is not about.”

“Why isn’t SXSW weighing in on Cancel Culture,” may be a better question.

Instead, the event took a page out of the Cancel Culture playbook, Schlott warns. The Post article suggests other factors may have played a part in the panel’s ultimate cancellation.

“This session about the independent’s role in the context of partisan polarization and the upcoming election went through several last-minute changes, including speakers dropping out,[emphasis added]” a SXSW spokesperson told The Post.

Did some panelists see Schlott’s name and panic? Did the forum invite other pundits that triggered fellow panelists?

It wouldn’t be surprising.

Perhaps Schlott would be a better fit on the Meghan Markle SXSW panel?

“Breaking Barriers, Shaping Narratives: How Women Lead On and Off the Screen.”

The film festival circuit is no place for either free speech or a healthy debate about woke overreach. That should be obvious to most Hollywood observers.

Schlott learned that lesson the hard way.


  1. so the topic of Cancel Culture doesn’t belong in a panel discussion about political polarization in film/tele?

    1. “so the topic of Cancel Culture doesn’t belong in a panel discussion about political polarization in film/tele?”

      Of course it does….just not in a woke panel discussion.

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