I’ve inveigled against “cancel culture” since long before the term was coined. I condemned it long before I lost my own job, and began the long journey from tenured professorship and published pundit to grocery clerk. Twenty years ago, I got in considerable trouble with colleagues on campus for defending the right of Jewish Defense League head (and later, convicted terrorist) Irv Rubin to speak to our students.
Every person I know who attended BLM or similar protests and marches knew that even though they were attending what was meant to be a peaceful protest that they were taking on some amount of risk, and things could go differently. Any photo or video footage that could be construed as one committing a crime (be it vandalism, or assault, or even resisting arrest) could lead to job loss. No matter who you are or what politicians you support, you cannot expect to retain your job if you're photographed or filmed actively committing any kind of felony, much less participating in a violent attempted coup. I think this is a thing apart from "cancel culture" which, for me, is defined by non-judiciary consequences of what is a relatively minor infraction (i.e. something that is not against the law- making racist comments, posting fat-phobic photos, having consensual sexual relationships with one's students). For me, "cancel culture" is defined by its overreach of consequences. In that vein, actual sexual predators like Weinstein were not "cancelled". Or, not just, that's why he's in jail. Being a criminal who faces the consequences of their crime is not the same as being a bigot or fool who overstepped rules or who made public too much of their inner, cruel, dialog and who's life is therefor torn asunder. I admit, there's gray area here. Many who are first "cancelled" are later found to be perpetrators of actual crimes, especially in the case of sexual predation, it seems. I'd argue this has everything to do with the "justice system" and the sexism built in when a crime is viewed as something only experienced by women.