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Opinion
Tyler Cowen

Cancel Culture Against Russians Is the New McCarthyism

Demanding that performers and athletes speak out against Putin’s Russia is un-American.

Putin and Valery Gergiev: Will the conductor now have to denounce the president?

Putin and Valery Gergiev: Will the conductor now have to denounce the president?

Photographer: IVAN SEKRETAREV/AFP

A new McCarthyism is stalking America: the “canceling,” or threatened cancellation, of Russian performers, musicians, artists and athletes.

The Metropolitan Opera of New York has announced it will no longer stage performers who have supported Russian President Vladimir Putin. Carnegie Hall has done the same, and the Royal Opera House in London is canceling a planned Bolshoi Ballet residency. I expect more institutions to follow suit. Russia’s contemporary art scene, already financially struggling, fears ostracism from museums and collectors, mostly because of Putin’s recent actions.