Baby, no-da: Hollywood canceling conservative actor over social-media postings? UPDATE: What about her co-star?

Looks like Gina Carano has gotten kicked to the Tinseltown curb, and not just by Disney, after provocative social-media postings. The former MMA star got fired from her role on The Mandalorian, lost her representation, and even her publicists have dumped her. The final straw appears to be an Instagram message that hyperbolically compares the treatment of Republicans in today’s America to the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany:

“Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future,” a Lucasfilm spokesperson said in a statement. “Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable.”

Carano shared several offensive posts on her Instagram stories Tuesday night, including one that likened contemporary political differences to the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany.

“Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors…even by children,” Carano wrote Instagram. “Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views.” The post originated on a different Instagram account.

Let’s just stipulate an important point for the kids reading this post. When you feel the need to make an analogy about life in the United States and find yourself reaching for Nazi Germany … stop. Nothing about life in the United States compares to what happened to Jews under Hitler. Godwin’s Law is not supposed to be a rhetorical goal, but an all-too-accurate prediction about the eventual stupidity into which political debates devolve.

The only potential contemporary parallel to the Holocaust would be China’s treatment of the Uighirs, which by the way Disney completely ignored in its rush to make Mulan and market its products in China. Was this a stupid argument to make and post to social media? You betcha. Should it be a firing offense? That’s a tougher question than it seems, but given Hollywood’s collaboration on China’s oppression, maybe not all that tough. The House of Mouse et al live in glass houses and yet seem very fond of throwing stones.

These are still dumb things to say, but why not just have the debate about their dumbness? Do people who believe foolish things need to be utterly ruined for them? According to the mob, yes — and that’s what appears to have happened in Carano’s case. Once the hashtags start, the mob gathers, although the Hollywood Reporter notes that this might have just given Disney some cover:

On Wednesday, the hashtag #FireGinaCarano was trending following an Instagram post from the outspoken conservative actor and former mixed martial artist that was met with severe backlash. The post has since been deleted, but screenshots were widely shared by users on social media who called for her firing from the hit Disney+ Star Wars show.

This is not the first time Carano, who played former Rebel Alliance soldier Cara Dune on The Mandalorian, has been the focus of social media ire for her political comments. Last November, she issued contentious tweets, one in which she mocked mask-wearing amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and another in which she falsely suggested voter fraud occurred during the 2020 presidential election.

“They have been looking for a reason to fire her for two months, and today was the final straw,” a source with knowledge of Lucasfilm’s thinking tells THR.

It’s not as if she hadn’t been warned, either. Carano had already lost out on a starring vehicle because of her social-media posts last fall:

According to sources, Lucasfilm planned to unveil Carano as the star of her own Disney+ series during a December investor’s day presentation but scrapped those plans following her November tweets. Multiple Mandalorian spinoffs are in the works from executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, including Rangers of the New Republic, which could have potentially starred Carano.

As I noted above, this isn’t an easy question in either direction. Media work requires good public relations to sustain; that’s why Carano and other media figures employ publicists. (Or in Carano’s case, did employ publicists.) They need to build goodwill from consumers to keep them engaged, especially in this environment of nearly infinite choices in entertainment. If one of your team is doing serious damage to that goodwill, then firing them is a legitimate option. Or so I hear when discussing Colin Kaepernick.

Still, this reaction not just from the studio but from the entire Hollywood establishment looks excessive, to the point where it starts to edge up to Carano’s point. Her analogy was wildly hyperbolic, but this more or less supports her core point that political differences are getting weaponized, and largely in one direction. Perhaps if we want unity and healing, we need to start by standing up to mobs on social media (and everywhere else), and let people work regardless of their political beliefs.

Update: If Disney wants to make Nazi analogies off limits, shouldn’t they fire this guy too?