Can Disney Fire Gina Carano From The Mandalorian for Being Depressingly Normal?
Gina Carano's political views are upsetting and ignorant, but they are not unusual.
Update 2/11/2021: Lucasfilm announced this morning that "Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future," adding that her recent social media posts were "abhorrent and unacceptable."
Reports have suggested that plans for Carano to have her own series spin-off from the Mandalorian were scrapped in November following previous controversial posts. Carano has also reportedly been dropped as a client by United Talent Agency.
Update 2/10/2021: #FireGinaCarano is trending on Twitter once again after Carano shared an image on TikTok comparing the social reprecussions of espousing pro-Trump views to the street violence that German citizens directed at Jews as the Nazi party took hold. The image closes with the question "How is that any different than hating people for their political views?" Which would be a great point if it wasn't nonsense.
Because there are — of course — a variety of political views that are deserving of hatred. The political view that Jews are part of a globablist conspiracy to keep Germany down, for instance, deserves to be mocked, ridiculed, and barred from polite society. Similarly, if someone wants to ban Muslim immigration, rejecting that intolerance is not Naziesque.
And if someone spreads baseless, dangerous lies that a deadly pandemic is a hoax, and that a heavily scrutinized and unusually secure democratic election was stolen, there should be consequences. Maybe that means losing your platform on social media, or maybe you get fired from your role on a prominent Disney+ TV show — like Gina Carano should be.
If Carano wants to talk instead about how Hitler (and another world leader...) publicly discouraged supporters from committing acts of violence — while implicitly stoking that violence — or how rhetoric like "the China virus" and "the Wuhan flu" contributed to a dramatic rise in actual street violence targeting Asian Americans, then we can talk.
Until then, Disney should absolutely fire Gina Carano. At this point it would be negligence not to.
Actor and former MMA fighter Gina Carano has once again come under fire for her social media presence.
Previously Carano — best known for playing former resistance soldier Cara Dune in the Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian — had received pushback over the summer for liking and retweeting messages attacking the Black Lives Matter protesters as violent and irrational.
Then, in September, Carano invited further criticism by responding to calls for her to include her preferred pronouns in her twitter bio — a move intended to support trans people in their effort to have their gender identities recognized and respected — by instead adding "beep/bop/boop." Once embraced by fans for representing a realistic version of what a strong female warrior could look like, these moments of apparent ignorance turned many against her.
It was around that time that calls for Carano to be cut from The Mandalorian cast started gaining momentum. And in the weeks since, Carano has done little to win back the love of fans who have turned against her.
Throughout the month of November — as season two of The Mandalorian has been airing — Carano has continued to make comments online that seem designed to anger or alienate Left-leaning fans.
She has shared messages that are critical of the use of masks to limit the spread of COVID-19 — even as cases of the deadly virus spiked — announced that she was joining Right-wing echo-chamber Parler, and expressed her baseless belief that fraudulent votes were a major factor in the 2020 election.
Fox News cuts away from Donald Trump's spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany over election fraud claimswww.youtube.com
On one hand, it seems absurd that a public figure would face no real consequences after spreading misguided skepticism about urgent public health measures and conspiratorial nonsense that threatens the foundations of our democracy — that even Fox News is wary of. On the other hand, nothing she said is outside the mainstream of Conservative American politics.
Gina Carano has revealed herself to harbor some wrong-headed and dangerously ignorant views. It makes sense that #FireGinaCarano has started trending. But they are views that are common enough to be completely ordinary in 2020. In large swaths of the country, they are undoubtedly much more common than the alternative.
That is one of the most frightening consequences of the Trump era. Donald Trump launched his current political career on the flimsy foundation of birtherism. He suggested, with scant evidence, that Barack Obama, was not born in Hawaii — as his birth certificate said — but in Kenya, and was therefore not a natural-born citizen, and was technically ineligible for the office of the presidency.
The idea that America's first Black president was at the center of an elaborate ploy to falsify his citizenship in order to steal the presidency is as absurd as it is revealing of Donald Trump's delusional and xenohpobic approach to reality.
In the years since, Donald Trump has suggested that a large portion of undocumented immigrants who enter the country from Mexico are rapists and drug dealers. He has asserted that a Mexican-American judge could not be trusted to rule fairly in a legal case against him — because of his heritage.
He has banned entrance from Muslim-majority countries. He has banned transgender individuals from enlisting in the military.
He has insisted that there were "very fine people" in attendance at the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville that turned deadly in 2017. He has claimed to be the target of a "deep state" surveillance conspiracy. He has accused people demonstrating peacefully against himself and against police brutality of being paid protesters, terrorists, and "ANTIFA provocateurs."
And he has come full-circle, spreading the false idea that now-Vice President-elect Kamala Harris — the first Black woman to be nominated to that role by a major party — was not a natural-born citizen and therefore ineligible for the office.
After four years with a president who has normalized and amplified conspiratorial and divisive views, it's easy to say that Gina Carano's behavior on Twitter has been offensive and disturbing. But what we can't claim is that any of it is particularly surprising.
If, tomorrow, every American company fired every employee who believes these things — believes that concerns over pronoun use are silly, that Black Lives Matter protests are dangerous, that mask mandates are unnecessary, and that fraudulent votes flipped the 2020 election to Joe Biden — the unemployment rate would shoot up by about 30% overnight.
We can acknowledge that these views are wrong and dangerous. We can explain why taking a person's preferred pronouns seriously is just basic decency, why the Black Lives Matter protests are a rational response to America's racist criminal justice system, and why widespread mask use is a painless way to save tens of thousands of lives. We can explain how much of the supposed evidence of voter fraud has already been discredited.
But on some level we have to confront the fact that around 74 million Americans voted to reelect a president who endorses the same awful views. The fact that they are outnumbered — around 80 million Americans voted for Joe Biden — does not mean we can ostracize them all and remove them from society.
So does it make sense to call on Disney to fire Gina Carano? Yes. And Disney would be well within their rights to do so.
As long as she wants to use her platform to spread ignorant and dangerous views, her voice shouldn't be amplified by a Disney seal of approval or the suggestion that she's buddies with the beloved Baby Yoda. There is a difference between an ordinary job and a job that makes you a public figure.
Unfortunately, if the efforts to have her ousted are successful, and Carano doesn't return for season 3, there will no doubt be a backlash. Conservative voices are always eager to play the victim and accuse the Left of intolerance — for not accepting a "diversity of thought" so broad that it would include lies and hate speech.
Carano has already shown a tendency toward this type of thinking, stubbornly refusing to support good causes if random people on Twitter are rude about them. It's likely that Disney firing her would launch her to a new level of celebrity as a conservative pundit and victim of "cancel culture." This may serve to push her and others like her even further into Right-wing misinformation, intolerance, and conspiracism. But what choice is there when the alternative is to continue adding to her profile and her ability to spread destructive messages?
Just because her views are normal, doesn't make them okay.
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