Is It Fair That Gina Carano Was Fired For Social Media Posts?
Last week, Gina Carano was let go from Star Wars: The Mandalorian following some questionable Instagram posts, and has quickly discovered that in showbiz, rock bottom equals making a movie with failed screenwriter Ben Shapiro.
There are a few inaccuracies flying around about this whole affair, and I think it’s important to correct them. First off, Carano was not fired. She wasn’t under contract with Lucasfilm anymore, and in a statement the firm said she “is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future.” Obviously, her character was heavily involved in The Mandalorian, and there were even rumours of a Cara Dune spin off, so while she wasn’t technically fired, it’s clear that her actions on social media have caused her to no longer be in Star Wars.
That first inaccuracy might seem like it’s splitting hairs; fired, laid off, not asked to return… call it what you want, she used to have a job and now she doesn’t. It is an important distinction though, so just keep that in mind.
The second inaccuracy is that she compared her life as a Republican to the Holocaust. That is technically not quite how it went down, but when it comes to comparing yourself to a Holocaust victim, you can’t really wriggle out of it on a technicality. What Carano said was that the Nazis didn’t target the Jews immediately, but instead created an environment where non-Jewish Germans hated the Jews, making it easier for the Nazis to eventually target them. This is actually fairly true. The problem is, Carano went on to say “How is that any different for hating someone for their political views?” implying that life as a Republican today is akin to being a Jewish person in Nazi Germany.
It’s also worth noting that this was not Carano’s first social media controversy. After co-star Pedro Pascal had included his pronouns in his Twitter in support of his trans sister, Carano declared that her pronouns were “beep/bop/boop”, and said trans people needed to be “less abusive” to her if they wanted to be taken seriously.
In Lucasfilm’s statement, it explained the reason for her departure was because “denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities [is] abhorrent.” Had she been warned about her conduct previously, and was this latest outburst just the final straw? Had she already been told she would not be returning, and her Holocaust post prompted Lucasfilm to go public? Was the firm content to let her get away with her comments about trans people? Honestly, your guess is as good as mine, but Carano has been consistently toxic online for a while now.
Another inaccuracy is that Pedro Pascal did the same thing and got away with it. A couple of years ago, Pascal tweeted an image which compared the migrant caging facilities on the Texas border to Jewish concentration camps in Nazi Germany. Personally, I reckon we should all just stop comparing things to the Holocaust. Doing so only dilutes the memory of what the Nazis did, and I think Pascal could have made his point without it. Still, there’s a massive difference between Pascal saying “the way the government is treating some of the most disadvantaged people in the country is similar to the Nazis,” to Carano saying “the way I, a wealthy and successful athlete and actress, am being treated makes me feel like a Jewish person during the Holocaust.”
If you equate them though, it’s easy to say “Carano talked about the Holocaust and got fired, Pascal talked about it and didn’t”, and start suggesting Carano was fired for being a Republican. This is the biggest – and most dangerous – inaccuracy of the lot. She categorically was not. Chris Pratt is a Republican. So is Jennifer Lawrence. Also Kelsey Grammar, Clint Eastwood, and John Ratzenberger. None of these people have been fired for their beliefs. And, to the best of my knowledge, I don’t think any of them should be. I probably wouldn’t go and see Passengers 2 now, but to be honest, that’s unrelated to Pratt’s and Lawrence’s political beliefs.
For the record, I think Carano should have been fired, and I don’t think Pascal should have been. But it does raise an interesting question about whether someone should be fired over their social media posts. I think most people would agree that ‘the line’ exists somewhere between Pascal clumsily saying the government should stop putting innocent children in cages and Carano comparing herself to a Holocaust victim. But is the line different for famous people who could bring the company into disrepute? Does this line move further when they’re involved in a kid-friendly franchise like Star Wars? How about the fact Carano was no longer under contract; would it have been harder to fire her than it was to simply not hire her back?
Fifteen years ago, the worst thing someone might find looking through your social media was an embarrassing old photo. Now, they contain everything about us. There’s a real need for us to examine how much a social media profile is a reflection of our professional persona, how much our personal beliefs should influence our professional opportunities, and how much posting something online is grounds for termination. The problem is, we never really get to examine these issues. Whenever there’s a high profile example, like Carano’s, it’s reduced down to the idea that she was fired for being a conservative. Which, again, she was not.
Carano’s posts come from a far fringe of the right of politics, but because this fringe is increasingly gaining ground and momentum. If the issue with Carano’s firing is – as some have argued – that her views represent mainstream conservatism, and therefore she was fired for being a conservative, we all have much bigger issues than a lady not being in Star Wars anymore.
Next: Why Pedro Pascal And Bella Ramsey Are Perfect For The Last Of Us
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