The band metallica with their faces crossed out in reference to the social media trend and movement.

Metallica Is Canceled

Part of a series on Cancel Culture. [View Related Entries]

Updated Aug 11, 2022 at 06:45PM EDT by Zach.

Added Aug 11, 2022 at 11:56AM EDT by sakshi.

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Metallica Is Canceled refers to an attempted cancel culture push on social media made in August 2022 by some critics of the band discussing various moments or iconography from its past that were perceived as controversial. After a viral video on TikTok cited Guns N' Roses lead singer Axl Rose (who's notoriously feuded with Metallica in the past) as a source for the accusations of supposed antisemitism and racism against the band, many Metallica fans and other opponents to the push defended the thrash metal band as a viral debate spread online that month. Many longtime fans also expressed that backlash against the band was purportedly coming from newer listeners or Zoomers after the band was repopularized on the Netflix TV show Stranger Things in July 2022.


On August 6th, 2022, TikToker[1] @serenatrueblood posted a video covering Metallica's past supposed controversies as part of her "Is Your Fave Problematic" series. The video covered instances of the metal band committing alleged acts of antisemitism and racism, including photos of band members doing the Nazi salute and using a guitar with an iron cross on it — a contentious symbol that some argue is a hate symbol associated with neo-Nazis but others argue is only related to Prussia, pre-WW2 Germany and is commonly used outside such racist connotations (particularly in subcultures revolved around skateboarding, motorcycles and car enthusiasts).[10]

The video also cited accusations made by Roberta Freeman,[2] backup singer for Guns N' Roses, about Metallica vocalist James Hetfield purportedly using a racist slur to describe rapper Ice-T. Additionally, @serenatrueblood stated that Hetfield was the only band member that didn't post public support of the Black Lives Matter movement on his Instagram in June 2020 as evidence, though Hetfield publicly noted that he abandoned his Instagram account in the early 2010s.[15] The TikTok video gathered over 500,000 views and over 40,000 likes in five days (seen below).

On August 7th, Twitter[3] user @hendrixnroses posted screencaps of now-deleted comments on the aforementioned TikTok video, noting that several fans expressing sadness and disgust about Metallica's purported problematic past had "Stranger Things" themed usernames and display pictures. Many believe that the social media outcry for "canceling" the metal band is coming from new listeners that found Metallica through the Netflix TV show Stranger Things, which used the group's song "Master of Puppets" in its season four finale. The tweet gathered over 17,000 likes and 1,000 retweets in four days (shown below).


In the following hours and days after, many Twitter users soon began referencing the TikTok by @serenatrueblood, commenting on the ridiculousness of any attempt to "cancel" a beloved and successful metal band decades after their supposedly problematic actions. One such tweet, posted by Twitter user @AMONGTHELVING[4] on August 7th, 2022, read "stranger things fans: 'metallica is cancelled! going to throw away my shirt now!' me:" with an image of Finn Wolfhard, an actor with a leading role in the TV show, flipping off the camera. The tweet gathered over 700 likes and approximately 100 retweets in four days (seen below)

mobert moseph mo @AMONGTHELIVING. Aug 7 stranger things fans: "metallica is cancelled! going to throw away my shirt now!" me: da strangest thin is that nobody asked 107 736 →→

News outlets including "Loud Wire,"[5] "Newsweek"[6] and many others began covering the story in the days following the Twitter backlash as the controversy and viral debate spread online to other platforms. For example, on August 9th, 2022, YouTuber[13] Woocker Socket 2 uploaded a video titled "Roasting the TikToker that's trying to cancel Metallica," in which they refuted many of @serenatrueblood's accusations, including a rebuttal against Axl Rose's claims where he reportedly used the N-word seven times.[14] The video garnered nearly 50,000 views and 3,600 likes in two days (shown below).

On August 9th, @serenatrueblood's video also began making the rounds on Reddit's metal communities, such as a post on /r/metalmemes[12] by Redditor BradenMer, with the thread largely mocking her and noting more egregious accusations against other metal bands like Pantera.

On August 10th, 2022, Redditor Greglurkington uploaded a post to the subreddit /r/OutOfTheLoop[7] that read, "What's going on with the new fans of Metallica since Stranger Things on Tiktok now trying to cancel them?" (shown below). Many of the top-voted replies to the post explained the timeline of the accusations and the migration of reactions to Twitter in previous days, with most of these largely dismissing the claims or defending the band.[11]

5200 Answered What's going on with the new fans of Metallica since Stranger Things on Tiktok now trying to cancel them? (self.OutOfTheLoop) submitted 1 day ago by GregLurkington Just saw a bunch of tweets about this, but no one said why. They are currently trending. Apparently people who took to them after Stranger Things now don't want to listen to them anymore and are throwing away albums and merch. /1557259280096628737[¹]| 1472 comments source share save hide give award report crosspost hide all child comments

Some in the thread, which accumulated over 5,200 upvotes and 1,500 comments in 24 hours, did elaborate on some of the statements @serenatrueblood claimed in her original TikTok. For example, one reply by Redditor KHiva[8] on August 10th attempted to substantiate the accusations of racism levied by former Guns N' Roses backup singer Roberta Greenfield by providing links to an interview republished by The Guardian[9] that was originally written by Steven Wells, first appearing in New Musical Express (NME) in May 1992.

In the NME article,[9] Wells claimed that James Hetfield purportedly said during his 1992 interview, "Rap is just to me very annoying. Bunk Bunk y'know like wow, f– man. It really strikes something in my head that I've just got to get away from. Just the fact that it's extra-black too – blacks, y'know, we want everything, we deserve it, give it to us, you f–ed us this and that, and that kind of shit. It's all me me me and my name in this song, y'know …?"

Various Examples

Francy *// SAW GREEN DAY, RHCP AND P... @Loud_.... Aug 8 People on tiktok: omg metallica is so problematic Meanwhile Kirk: 0:02 45.4K views 38 449 Ve 2,085 Heten omin >>> : marie @mariexilled. Aug 8 metallica's new occupation because emily decided they were problematic 10 le 128 721

RealJiroSomer @JiroSomer. Aug 7 So Metallica is getting cancelled for being drunks who said stupid crap in the 80s and 90s so I made this meme METALLIUM WΠΕΝ ΟΙ ΠΗΛUER THINGS FANS ARE CANCELLING THEM AFTER BUYING THE ALBUMS AND MERCH 11 OH NO! ANYWAY 163 371 ↑ Metallica fans BEEFING WITH Stranger Things fans COLESLAW VS POTATO SALAD Follow dat_wendigo_draws I'm both a metallica fan and a stranger things fan 2h 15 likes Reply View replies (2) crankygaugee Stranger things aint bad the fans are 5h 106 likes Reply View replies (1) inetin variour17 All of the shove 11,590 likes 10 HOURS AGO Add a comment... ... Σ Post

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>Celebrity bullshit combined with frivolous "muh nazi racist fascists" accusations on social media
Honestly now I question why did I even open this entry in the first place, don't know what else I should've expected. Vanity of vanities, and all vanity.


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