It was the tweet heard round the world. Infamous “Never-Trump” advocate Rick Wilson attempted to get the pizza chain, Domino’s, canceled. Why? Because back in 2012, Domino’s responded to a tweet sent at them by President Donald Trump’s press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, thanking her for complimenting them.
“You just killed your brand,” tweeted Wilson.
He also threw in the hashtag “#ETTD” or “Everything Trump Touches Dies.”
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) June 16, 2020
Domino’s wasn’t going to take this lying down and sent a response that made headlines.
Welp. It's unfortunate that thanking a customer for a compliment back in 2012 would be viewed as political. Guess that's 2020 for ya.
— Domino's Pizza (@dominos) June 16, 2020
The rest of the story is told by my colleague, Sister Toldjah, and you should definitely read it. The fun doesn’t end there, but my focus isn’t on Wilson. Not specifically at least.
Wilson was trying to take part in what we know now as “cancel culture.” It’s the idea that wrong-think can and should be punished with public shaming, monetary punishment, and societal isolation. It’s essentially Saul Alinsky reaching out from the past and using his playbook in the present digital age.
The not-much talked about point regarding cancel culture is that it’s not mandatory to participate in it, and I don’t mean in terms of being a part of the mob that is demanding the cancellation. The only reason cancel culture works is because businesses choose to cave to the mob. All the business has to do is weather the online outrage storm, refuse to cave to any demands by the mob, and eventually, the storm will pass once it’s clear that no capitulation is going to happen.
In the age of the internet, the mob is more fickle than ever before, finding something new to be mad about almost daily.
There have been examples of this working throughout the existence of the internet cancel culture. Defiance against the mob usually results in better sales and more respect from the general public.
It happens with movies…
It happens with comedians…
It happens with video games…
Now, it happened with Domino’s. Its response to Wilson’s attempts at canceling them resulted in social media buzzing about ordering from the pizza chain that very night. While I’m not sure what kind of sales these claims actually resulted in, the goodwill created by the chain will absolutely result in additional sales regardless.
It’s important to remember that cancel culture is predominantly carried out by a small but very loud group of people. For the most part, Americans are sick of this, and if we’re really going to put a stop to this modern plague, all businesses have to do is shrug off the mob just like many people and businesses have before them.
It won’t be as easy as shrugging off Wilson, mind you. Threats, shame, and insults will rain down in a deluge. Journalists, looking for easy woke points with the mob, will fan the flames with articles. You may even achieve national headlines.
The more people who see you standing up against the social justice driven mob, the better. Not only are you teaching them that you won’t bend, but you’re also showing America that not caving to these societal bullies is possible.
Domino’s set the bar. Someone attempted to punish them for a tweet sent years ago and Domino’s effectively laughed it off and while laughing at its attackers. It’s the same thing Dave Chappell did to wild applause and monumental success, and he had it way worse.
To sum it up, cancel culture is a choice that many businesses can make, and like Domino’s, many businesses should begin deciding that it’s not worth alienating Americans over.