I assume one reason "cancel culture" is so prevalent in the arts, publishing, universities, and cultural institutions in general, is that there are far more qualified "workers" (writers artists musicians scolars) than available jobs. Competition in academia has been fierce for decades, far more people want to be artists and musicians than can make any living from it, everyone wants a cool fun job, or grant, or attention, but culture is a buyer's market and always has been. Canceling people is a way to create fresh niches. It also explains why McCarthy-era blacklisting tore through Hollywood. Who wouldn't want a Hollywood gig? Destroying your competition is a good way to get one. Doesn't have to be your specific, personal competitors, either; supporting the canceling ideology opens up more opportunities in your field regardless.