Davina McCall claims cancel culture means 'forgiveness isn't on the agenda anymore'

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Davina McCall attends the Sun's Who Cares Wins Awards 2021 at The Roundhouse on September 14, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Davina McCall has spoken about cancel culture. (Samir Hussein/WireImage) (Samir Hussein via Getty Images)

Davina McCall has revealed her misgivings about cancel culture, claiming it has created a "lack of forgiveness" in society.

Speaking during an appearance on Rylan Clark’s podcast Ry-Union, the former Big Brother host said it was "really weird" to punish celebrities for social media messages they shared over a decade ago.

The 54-year-old said social media can "lift you up" but has the power to "annihilate you as well".

"[Our job is] difficult in a different way," McCall told her former colleague Clark. "Everybody has an opinion.

"With cancel culture, and this is the new thing that I think celebrities or actors or anybody in the public eye is the most terrified of is this culture of, you say something and you get cancelled."

Davina McCall and Rylan Clark-Neal, in the press room during the Pride of Britain Awards held at the The Grosvenor House Hotel, London. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
McCall and Rylan Clark-Neal attend the Pride of Britain Awards. (Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images) (Ian West - PA Images via Getty Images)

The TV presenter added: "I think that's such an interesting thing. I go deep when I think about things and I was thinking, 'Why is cancelling such a tough thing?'"

McCall then answered her own question as she added: "I think it's about the lack of forgiveness that anybody is allowed to have for making a mistake.

"If somebody says something and I think, that's a celebrity that I have known for many years, one of the things that I think is really weird is hauling somebody over the coals for a tweet they made in 2011."

Reflecting on her own experience within the industry, McCall said: "In 12 years, I've changed so much.

"When a journalist says to me they interviewed me eight years ago and I said this, I say, 'I've changed my mind.'

"You've got to be allowed to change your mind. Sometimes people could have been racist or homophobic 10 years ago, 12 years ago and they might have met somebody along the way who's made them change the light.

"And they could feel so ashamed of the way that they used to feel. They get hauled over the coals and they apologise and that apology is still not enough."

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: In this screengrab, Davina McCall takes part in the BBC Children In Need and Comic Relief 'Big Night In at London on April 23, 2020 in London, England.The 'Big Night In' brings the nation an evening of unforgettable entertainment in a way we've never seen before. Raising money for and paying tribute to those on the front line fighting Covid-19 and all the unsung heroes supporting their communities. (Photo by Comic Relief/BBC Children in Need/Comic Relief via Getty Images)
McCall takes part in the BBC Children In Need and Comic Relief 'Big Night In at London on April 23, 2020 (Comic Relief via Getty Images) (Comic Relief via Getty Images)

Clark agreed with her comments and claimed that it was the effect of the 'block button' becoming something that happens in real life – not just on social media.

Read more: Davina McCall says overcoming heroin addiction made her 'much stronger'

When he asked McCall, "Where does it stop?", she replied: "The only way I have learned in life is by forming opinions about how I feel about things. If I listened to somebody I absolutely 100% disagree with, I can formulate an opinion about that...

"That's why programmes like Question Time are interesting because you've got all sides of the political spectrum. Sometimes there's somebody on there that drives you mad, but that's a good thing."

BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 10:  Davina McCall presents the final of Ultimate Big Brother on September 10, 2010 in Borehamwood, England.  (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
Davina McCall presents the final of Ultimate Big Brother on September 10, 2010 in Borehamwood, England. (Ian Gavan/Getty Images) (Ian Gavan via Getty Images)

She added: "We must not stop the voices that annoy us or aggravate us or say something different by shaming them.

"It seems that forgiveness isn't on the agenda anymore... It seems like this loss of anybody following any kind of religion means you are unable to pardon anybody. You just will hold that vendetta against them forever, even if they are hand on heart genuinely really sorry. It seems really sad."

Last March, McCall was criticised for a tweet posted in the wake of the disappearance of Sarah Everard, in which she claimed that female abduction and murder "is extremely rare".

Watch: Davina McCall says 'beating drug addiction made me much stronger'