Advertisement
Culture

‘Everything should be up for debate’: Fearne Cotton on ‘toxic’ cancel culture

The podcast host and former Top of the Pops and Radio 1 presenter on how the entertainment industry has changed and why she’s no longer on TV.

Fearne Cotton has hit out at cancel culture and says the entertainment industry is not what it once was.  

Cotton was one of the last regular presenters of Top of the Pops, as well as hosting programmes on BBC Radio 1 for nearly 10 years before leaving in 2015. 

Recalling that period in an interview with musician Yungblud, who is guest editing this week’s Big Issue magazine, Fearne Cotton said: “It was a great time. You could kind of do whatever you wanted back then. Lots of bands were quite wild and just completely themselves, essentially, without any media training, without anyone saying: ‘This is what is popular right now.’” 

Subscribe to The Big Issue

From just £3 per week

Take a print or digital subscription to The Big Issue and provide a critical lifeline to our work.

“There was certainly a shift, maybe just as I was leaving Radio 1”, Cotton continued. “It felt like it was getting trickier for artists to cultivate a space that was their own. 

“I think culturally, it’s harder because cancel culture exists, which is a horrible, toxic little bastard. I just can’t bear that.” 

The public boycotting or shunning of individuals or organisations deemed to have acted or spoken in an unacceptable way has become a major talking point for conservative figures, both in the US, and now increasingly in the UK.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Introductory offer

Just £1 per week

Take advantage of our introductory digital subscription offer - your first month for just £4 (cancel any time).

Despite the issue receiving widespread coverage in the media, and prompting concern from several members of the cabinet, a poll commissioned last year by the New Statesman found that fewer than one in six British adults could name somebody who had been cancelled.  

Cotton added: “Everything should be up for debate. But also, everybody should be able to make mistakes, and then come back and try again. And in the Nineties, everyone was. Everyone was doing crazy shit and then picking themselves up and trying again, and we were much more forgiving. So we do need to go back to that way of thinking.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Fearne Cotton discusses dealing with the public’s perception of her and why she has found a new home in podcasting and radio. Pick up a copy from your local vendor now.

This article is taken from The Big Issue magazine. If you cannot reach local your vendor, you can still click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today or give a gift subscription to a friend or family member. You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.

Advertisement

Bigger Issues need bigger solutions

Big Issue Group is creating new solutions through enterprise to unlock opportunities for the 14.5 million people living in poverty to earn, learn and thrive. Big Issue Group brings together our media and investment initiatives as well as a diverse and pioneering range of new solutions, all of which aim to dismantle poverty by creating opportunity. Learn how you can change lives today.

Recommended for you

Read All
Jeff Bridges: ‘I had cancer and Covid. I was facing my mortality’
TV

Jeff Bridges: ‘I had cancer and Covid. I was facing my mortality’

Mrs Harris Goes to Paris review: Lesley Manville swaps drudgery for a dream dress
film

Mrs Harris Goes to Paris review: Lesley Manville swaps drudgery for a dream dress

‘I just want to represent real people’ – Lydia West talks Inside Man, It's A Sin and the cost-of-living crisis
TV

‘I just want to represent real people’ – Lydia West talks Inside Man, It's A Sin and the cost-of-living crisis

Blue Note Re:imagined II goes back in time to forge future paths
Music

Blue Note Re:imagined II goes back in time to forge future paths

Most Popular

Read All
How much will the Queen's funeral cost?
1.

How much will the Queen's funeral cost?

The internet's best reactions as Kwasi Kwarteng cuts taxes and lifts the cap on bankers' bonuses
2.

The internet's best reactions as Kwasi Kwarteng cuts taxes and lifts the cap on bankers' bonuses

From benefit claimants to bankers: Here’s what the mini-budget means for your pay packet
3.

From benefit claimants to bankers: Here’s what the mini-budget means for your pay packet

5 ways anti-homeless architecture is used to exclude people from public spaces
4.

5 ways anti-homeless architecture is used to exclude people from public spaces

To mark our new Arctic Monkeys exclusive interview, we’ve picked out some of our best band and musician interviews from the past, featuring Arctic Monkeys (2018), When Jarvis met Bowie, The Specials, Debbie Harry and more. Sign up to our mailing list to receive your free digital copy.