Should Disney have fired Mandalorian's Gina Carano over social posts?
- “The Mandalorian” is a Star Wars universe spinoff set after the fall of the Empire, detailing the adventures of a “lone gunfighter” and “baby Yoda.”
- Gina Carano is an MMA fighter-turned actor with her biggest credit being in Disney’s The Mandalorian as the character Cara Dune.
- On Thursday, February 11, Carano was fired from the show and dropped by talent agency UTA after her Instagram post compared the experience of Jews during the Holocaust to the US political climate. Past social media posts, over mask protocols, voter fraud, and gender pronouns, have sparked criticism.
- Cancel culture is a phenomenon that has to do with removing or “canceling” a public figure based on their beliefs. It often leads to job dismissal, boycotts, and loss of public support.
- A 2020 Cato survey shows 62% of Americans fear sharing their political opinions due to concern “others might find them offensive.”
A recent letter from Walt Disney's Executive Chairman, Robert A. Iger, to all Disney employees states, 'we have earned the trust of guests, audiences, consumers and shareholders because of our commitment to high standards in everything we do.' Dropping Mandalorian cast member Gina Carano over her confused and seemingly anti-Semitic social media posts tweets is consistent with this focus on excellence at every level. This isn't cancel culture run amok, as many of Carano's defenders will say; words matter and Disney/Lucasfilm is right to remove her from her role. By doing so, Disney is saying that they stand against anti-Semitism and those who wish to sow discord.
Gina Carano's fame and, therefore, the number of followers on social media increased greatly when she landed the popular TV show, The Mandalorian. In other words, more people are paying attention to what she says because Disney put her in a very public position, elevating her public profile. Disney has a responsibility to remove actors who make offensive and misguided statements from the public eye to the extent it can or risk the appearance that it supports those sentiments.
Finally, it makes good business sense for Disney to be proactive in removing Carano from her position. Disney is mostly known as a family-friendly brand, the kind of company that wouldn't expose children to those who equate the evils of Nazi Germany to their own confused perceptions. Entertainment companies want to draw in the largest possible audiences from all different demographics. It simply doesn't make any sense for Disney to employ someone like Carano, who has shown such a divisive presence.
Gina Carano's correlation of Republicans' treatment in the US to Jews suffering under Nazi Germany was undoubtedly hyperbolic. However, it was not 'abhorrent,' as Lucasfilm claimed in its statement after her firing. Disney is attempting to stay on the right side of leftists (as opposed to liberals) who have no regrets about coming after any person, organization, or company that doesn't sufficiently grovel. While it isn't accurate to say right-wingers don't call for people to be canceled, that is largely the realm of leftists to call for the majority of 'cancellations' to be applied to those of the political right, nearly half the country.
Executives admitted they had been 'looking for a reason' to fire Carano for months, based on the ire she's drawn from the left for a variety of positions, ranging from using gender pronouns to election integrity to mask-wearing. But if Disney were as noble as it would have us believe, Pedro Pascal, among others, would not be employed there either based on a number of their own posts. The point remains: celebrities and people alike shouldn't be fired for holding an opinion regardless of how unpopular or dumb it is.
Seeing as the proposed issue around Carano making an overwrought comparison to the Holocaust, Disney routinely does business with and thanks China for hosting their Mulan shoot. The CCP is currently imprisoning, torturing, raping, and brainwashing in concentration camps a million Uighur Muslims. Disney seems only to be willing to draw the line depending on who holds the wallet, and Carano looks to be coming down on the wrong side of it. Maybe #CancelDisneyPlus will withhold sufficient dollars from Disney to get it to renege on their decision regarding Carano, much as they did for James Gunn.