As Ed noted yesterday, Gina Carano was fired by Disney over a social media post referencing the holocaust. Last night Ben Shapiro did a whole video on this firing in which he looked at Carano’s post and concluded that while it was overwrought, it wasn’t anti-Semitic. Less than a day later, Carano announced that she will be developing a film with the Daily Wire:
Carano told us today: “The Daily Wire is helping make one of my dreams — to develop and produce my own film — come true. I cried out and my prayer was answered. I am sending out a direct message of hope to everyone living in fear of cancellation by the totalitarian mob. I have only just begun using my voice which is now freer than ever before, and I hope it inspires others to do the same. They can’t cancel us if we don’t let them.”…
“We could not be more excited to be working with Gina Carano, an incredible talent dumped by Disney and Lucasfilm for offending the authoritarian Hollywood Left. This is what Daily Wire exists to do: provide an alternative not just for consumers, but for creators who refuse to bow to the mob,” said Daily Wire co-founder Shapiro.
“We’re eager to bring Gina’s talent to Americans who love her, and we’re just as eager to show Hollywood that if they want to keep cancelling those who think differently, they’ll just be helping us build the Xwing to take down their Death Star,” he added.
I’m glad she has landed on her feet, but I wish the backlash against Disney had more time to build. I really don’t think they understand just how bad that backlash is going to be this time. Case in point, at New York magazine Jonathan Chait argues that Disney’s firing of Carano looks a lot like the infamous Hollywood blacklist of communists.
In the 1950s, Hollywood studios — under pressure from the right — promised they would not “knowingly employ a communist.” This blacklist eventually became notorious, especially in Hollywood, which came to lionize its victims in several films. And yet it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish the blacklist policy from the emerging current treatment of right-wingers.
There’s nothing new about this comparison. Conservatives have been making this point for years if not decades. What’s new is that someone on the left is making it. And of course Chait is being hammered by the left for saying it. But Chait isn’t alone. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes piped up to say he basically agrees, though he is also being attacked for saying so. As I write this he’s just barely staying out of ratio territory:
I’ve got my quibbles here and there, but basically agree with this. https://t.co/oSnaVSdzQ8
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) February 12, 2021
The big issue here is whether or not Carano’s tweet about Nazi Germany, the one that supposedly led to her firing is anti-Semitic. Chait says no and then points out that most of the other tweets mentioned by the media in stories about her firing really aren’t that offensive either.
Many media accounts have taken the anti-Semitism charge at face value (USA Today: “… an anti-Semitic Instagram Story that she shared from another user.”) The post in question, which triggered a social-media firestorm that quickly led to her firing and loss of representation, was not anti-Semitic by any reasonable definition. The post simply argued (uncontroversially) that the Holocaust grew out of a hate campaign against Jews, which it then likened (controversially) to hatred of fellow Americans for their political views…
Many of the reports of Carano’s termination string together the trumped-up offense of her post about Nazism with a series of controversial posts. The worst of them is a post insinuating elections are rife with voter fraud and should impose photo ID — a claim that, while provably false, is also a standard-issue Republican belief. The second-most controversial post in her history is a very small joke, in which she added “boop/bop/beep” to her Twitter profile, before apologizing for the insensitivity of seeming to mock the practice of including pronouns in social-media biographies.
What’s most disturbing about all of this to Chait is the lazy assumption that, because Carano said some things that offended people on the left, it naturally follows she should be out of a job. This cancel culture playbook has been run so many times now that it no longer strikes us as surprising, but it should.
Firing need not follow partisan political statements as the night follows day. In fact, as Ed pointed out yesterday, Disney doesn’t even have a problem with dubious holocaust comparisons from actors on the same show.
— Pedro Pascal he/him (@PedroPascal1) June 20, 2018
In addition to looking bad to people on the right and left, Carano’s firing has also worked up a lot of Star Wars fans who see the Mandalorian as the only thing saving Star Wars from oblivion after the terrible sequels. Disney was set to launch several Mando spinoff series including one starring Carano. Now that they’ve dumped her a lot of people are ready to dump Disney. Yesterday, “cancel Disney plus” was trending on Twitter. There were even rumors circulating last night that Disney was thinking about backtracking on the firing because of the unexpected strength of the backlash.
Now that Carano has found a new job, some of that energy is going to dissipate. I’m glad for her but it’s too bad the backlash didn’t have more time to build. Disney really deserves a black eye over this blacklist firing.
Update: Welcome to the rebellion:
This is just the beginning.. welcome to the rebellion. https://t.co/5lDdKNBOu6
— Gina Carano 🕯 (@ginacarano) February 12, 2021