Something recently happened that I’ve taken some time to think about. Disney fired Gina Carano over a post on social media. Generally, this firing has inspired backlash from conservatives that decry the action as “cancel culture” while being heralded by liberals for holding a public figure accountable for their actions. Let’s get this out of the way at the beginning: I’m pro firing Gina Carano. She frequently belittled the struggle of transgender people, posted false information about the COVID19 pandemic, and compared being a Republican to being Jewish in Nazi Germany. I won’t let this spoil my enjoyment of her past performance on The Mandalorian, but I’m glad she will not be a role model for young Star Wars fans.
This is not “cancel culture.”
Cancel culture is a label applied to behavior that withdraws support, or “cancel,” a public person or business because they have done something that offends you. Conservatives usually use conservatives to belittle liberals, which is essential to point out since conservatives try to cancel things all the time. For example, trying to outlaw the sale of Grand Theft Auto.
You may be asking, “why isn’t this cancel culture? It’s exactly as you defined it!” This isn’t the action of people. People have been calling for Carano’s dismissal for over a year. Disney, surprisingly, has let it slide. Only after having warned her repeatedly did Disney fire her. Disney, a private company, decided that they did not want Carano to represent the company anymore. It is as simple as that.
What about *insert name*?
It’s hard to avoid comparing this action to Disney’s past hiring decisions. Just recently, I opposed the dismissal of Chuck Wendig from their Marvel comics division as well as the news they were dropping James Gunn as director of the Guardians of the Galaxy series. Why do I back these two people and not Carano? Is it just that I agree with the message of one of them but not the other? No. It’s context.
James Gunn posted horrible things years ago. He’s since apologized and tried to change. Chuck Wendig is a little combative on Twitter, but he also posts some of the most uplifting and wholesome content. Seriously, go check out his “Gentle Writing Tips” series and tell me you think he’s not a good role model. Carano was not contrite; in fact, she has doubled down when given the opportunity to apologize. Her social media presence isn’t a place to uplift people; it’s a place to spread her messages of conservatism and pseudoscience.
I’ve seen some conservatives throw out other names as people who “are worse” that still work for Disney. Every person I’ve seen bandied about hasn’t worked on a Disney project since the news dropped. If you disagree, drop the name and examples of their behavior in the comments, and I’ll get back to you.
I could go on and on about Gina Carano and what her dismissal means, the argument between “cancel culture” and “consequence culture,” how convenient it is that those are both alliterations, and how it affects the future of Star Wars. But I’ll leave you with this thought: If you were in charge of a company marketing to children, would you want someone this controversial representing your company?