Veteran rocker Nick Cave hits out at 'cancel culture'

Julia Hunt
·2-min read
Australian rock musician Nick Cave attends a press conference to promote his concert, in Mexico City, Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. Cave and the Bad Seeds will perform in the capital's WTC Pepsi Center on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Nick Cave said 'cancel culture' was 'mercy’s antithesis'. (AP)

Musician Nick Cave has said that “cancel culture” is “bad religion run amuck”.

“Cancel culture” – which refers to the way support for someone is withdrawn when they do or say something that’s considered to be offensive – has been a hot topic in recent months, as has political correctness.

But the Australian rocker said that in his opinion, it “embodies all the worst aspects that religion has to offer”.

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Cave, 62, spoke out on his website The Red Hand Files after fans questioned him on the subject.

The star said he felt that mercy was a value that “should be at the heart of any functioning and tolerant society” and said that, without it, a society “loses its soul, and devours itself”.

“As far as I can see, cancel culture is mercy’s antithesis,” he said.

“Political correctness has grown to become the unhappiest religion in the world.

“Its once honourable attempt to reimagine our society in a more equitable way now embodies all the worst aspects that religion has to offer (and none of the beauty) — moral certainty and self-righteousness shorn even of the capacity for redemption.”

“It has become quite literally, bad religion run amuck,” added the singer.

Cave touched upon the idea of the loss of open debate, writing that cancel culture’s “refusal to engage with uncomfortable ideas” has “an asphyxiating effect on the creative soul of a society”.

He also talked about the importance of compassion and suggested that creativity could help to reveal fresh ways of viewing the world.

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The singer ended his message by saying that ours is a culture “in transition”.

Australian Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, perform, at the Roskilde Festival in Roskilde, Denmark, Friday, July 3, 2009. The Roskilde Festival opened Thursday. Around 75,000 guests will be listening to the 151 bands playing until Sunday evening. (AP Photo/ Tariq Mikkel Khan, Polfoto) **  DENMARK OUT  **
Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds perform at the Roskilde Festival in Roskilde, Denmark in 2009 (AP Photo/ Tariq Mikkel Khan, Polfoto)

“It may be that we are heading toward a more equal society - I don’t know - but what essential values will we forfeit in the process?” he asked.

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds formed in Melbourne in 1983. Their hits include Nature Boy, Where The Wild Roses Grow and As I Sat Sadly By Her Side.