Story: Someone unfollowed someone they know on Twitter.
Reasonable take: Ok.
Brain rot: “This is the most painful cancellation I have had yet,” I’m going to interrogate them and publicise the exchange and it will no doubt go extremely well for me, Laurence Fox.
When an edgelord gets quietly blocked by a former colleague on Twitter, it hardly feels like something that needs an explanation, let alone a broadcast into the public sphere. However, actor and “musician” Laurence Fox described this very uneventful occurrence as “the most painful cancellation I have had yet” – a grievance so insubstantial it immediately became a meme.
The root of Fox’s indignation and subsequent “beef post” was realising that he’d at some point been blocked by BAFTA-winning actress, writer and comedian, Rebecca Front. Fox said he had “spent 10 happy years working with” Front, including “many lovely family dinners and lots and lots of laughs”. He referred to Front as “a friend”, before attaching screenshots of private messages between them and footnoting his caption with “#AllLivesMatter”.
Firstly, standing on your massive soapbox and shouting “I’m being cancelled!” because people are consciously choosing to ignore your bullshit is: a) disingenuous and b) a monumental misappropriation of what Fox and his fellow right-wingers believe being “cancelled” means.
Secondly, someone limiting their interaction with you because your online presence is making them feel as if they are committing coprophagia whenever they want to check out the latest football transfer rumours isn’t getting “cancelled” any more than someone not liking an Instagram post of your hamster.
In a since-deleted screengrab of private messages, Fox confronted Front: “Why would you block me? Have I said anything that could upset you? What a shame,” swiftly followed by a sad face emoji, adding: “Anyway, you are never blocked from me”.
Fox is astonishingly good at the self-own. The decision to make this exchange public seems like such a short-sighted endeavour, you wonder how it could have ever ended well for him.
Front took it upon herself to diplomatically respond to his challenge over text: “Oh lol, I think it was the #AllLivesMatter stuff that finally tipped me over the edge,” she wrote. “It seems to me so glaringly obvious that All Lives Matter – you’d have to be a psychopath to disagree – that it should be equally obvious it doesn’t need a slogan.”
The Thick of It star then went on to explain exactly how “Black Lives are systematically undervalued” and that “the least we can do is let them have a fucking slogan”, before rounding things off with a good, old fashioned, “We’ll just have to agree to differ.”
This sort of tactful, media-shy conduct was simply too much for Fox, who decided to take umbrage at her defence of the Black Lives Matter slogan by responding with an outraged “Jesus”. Then, putting his acting training to good use by pretending to be the rational adult in the conversion, replied: “It’s ok to disagree. But it’s the right thing to do to talk first before you cancel me. Especially given how racist the phrase you just wrote is. I thought we had more in common.”
This magisterial disaster class in looking like a total cunt marginalised Fox to the point that only the most pathetic culture-war grifters in Britain would back him up. Enter Darren Grimes, who said: “That sucks.”
In the end, Fox deleted his post and issued an apology, stating that his actions were against his “values” – with all the conviction of a father trying to convince his daughter on his solitary day of custody that the eight-hour round journey to see an Eddie Stobart fleet in Hereford will be “good fun for both of them”.
My existence on the internet mainly amounts to shouting tri-weekly about the state of British trains and reminding everyone what my favourite lager is. If anything, seeing that a former colleague and “friend” had unfollowed me would only serve as a much needed reality check on how much of a cunt I’m coming across.
Chat shit, get blocked. It’s the natural order of things. If you get this rattled by a simple blocking, unfollowing or unfriending, then you quite simply shouldn’t be online. These are the values that the children of the internet age have adopted.
The more this outrage happens, and the further we get tangled up in the world wide web because the incessant waves of COVID-19 are making real world niceties near-impossible to enjoy, my personal theory that you shouldn’t be allowed access to the internet if you have financial stability grows stronger each day.
Perhaps, at the very least, there should be a sliding scale of how much data you’re allocated based on how much money you have. A normal job that barely covers your cost of living and rent gives you unlimited access. A rich actor with a townhouse is only allowed enough data to receive one fake news story a week about “High Court judges siding with ISIS and banning Remembrance day Poppies”, meaning their only option is to rage to their fellow thespian mates in person, while everyone normal can continue to share videos of odd-couple animal friendships and argue about which episode of The Sopranos is the best.