February 23, 2021

#TrueTalkTuesdays 114

Gina Carano was recently released from her Lucasfilm/Disney contract after a falling out over her social media posts.

By this time, I’m sure you are aware of the phenomenon known as cancel culture. If not, here is a definition for it below:

a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles – either online on social media, in the real world, or both.

Wikipedia

The latest victim in the news is Gina Carano, one of the first super stars in women’s MMA turned actress. She had a hell of a run in her MMA career, but then the train flew off the tracks after a brutal loss to Cris Cyborg.

Fortunately for her, she managed to score a movie deal shortly after and have what appeared to be a good career in Hollywood. She starred in her own movie, Haywire, had a role in Deadpool, and most recently was Cara Dune in the hit series the Mandalorian.

It seemed that role in the Mandalorian was going to be the beginning of big things for her, as there were talks of her having her own spinoff series based on her character. But, on the Twitter, she was drawing a lot of attention. Gina seems to be leaning right on the political spectrum, and her posts triggered a lot of people on the left.

She had a recent interview on the Ben Shapiro show, and the gist of it was she was being pressured to apologize for her views, and to stop posting offensive content. She wasn’t willing to silence herself, and as a result she was let go, along with the gravy train that is being associated with Lucasfilm and Disney. Her agent followed suit, and like that, the door to Hollywood was shut.

If this had happened 10 or 20 years ago, chances are, we would never have heard from Carano again. But with the growth of online streaming services, competition to Hollywood is now in existence. In this case, the Daily Wire has teamed up with Gina Carano to create a movie with her.

The Daily Wire is a conservative news that Ben Shapiro founded, and they recently have started making movies. So for them, this is a big opportunity to take on a rising star with a lot of press.

Personally, I dislike the whole idea of cancel culture, at least in how it’s being used as a weapon to threaten or destroy people’s lives. Regardless of where you stand politically, it’s hard not to respect the stand that Gina made. You can see that she is still struggling with the consequences of being cancelled, as in her interview her voice is shaky and seems very emotional.

She could have easily she gave in and apologized, silenced herself, or even posted things contradictory to her beliefs to save her Hollywood career. I’m sure the vast majority of people put in this situation have done just that. We all have heard some of the stories of actors and actresses that have put up with abusive environments in order to survive and keep their career alive.

But she chose another path. Perhaps because she is a fighter, but clearly this was the harder path and required more moral fortitude to take it. I’m not saying she was right or wrong. But in her view, she was doing the right thing, and was willing to give everything up for it.

That is something I can respect, as it’s easy to have integrity when everyone agrees with you, but very difficult when you are on the opposite side of the fence of a mob of angry people calling for your head.


What do you think? Do you agree or disagree?

Comment with your take on this. And if you like this article, please do me a solid and share it with your friends. Thanks!

  • People are going to judge you based on what you write on social media, much in the same way as they would have judged you for what you would say around the water cooler at the office in the pre-social media days. And bosses fire you if they think what you say is a liability or if they particularly dislike you. This is nothing new. Expecting otherwise is an illusion. Any time you post on social media, know it’s a public statement, and expect that there could be a backlash. So, there are a few options. A. don’t use social media. B. Use only to post pics of puppies and flowers, or promote your work. Or C. post anything you want, including possibly controversial stuff, and don’t be surprised if there’s a backlash.

    • It’s true that judging people is older than time. I think the difference now is that you can be fired from a job by being judged from some random internet mob. The bosses might not even care, but because a tweet is trending, it is game over. Then not only do you lose your job, but you could be publicly shamed for the rest of your life. The internet has magnified the effect of being judged 1000 fold. Everyone knows it, and as a result people want to hold their tongue as you say for fear of being judged. I find that sad, as we should be able to freely express ourselves. Instead of using fear, shame and guilt to force people to think a certain way, arguments with reason and logic should be used to defend your viewpoints. But we are living in a mad world. 🤯

      • I agree the world has gone mad. But, if Gina wanted to be able to freely express her views to her fans, she shouldn’t have taken a job at a logo that has a main goal to avoid controversy. They don’t have a ‘conservative’ base or ‘liberal’ base – their customers are everyone because they aim to be neutral. If you force their hand to take a side, you’re going to get cut. I mean, if I worked for you and wore your name but constantly publicly said kimuras sucked and MMA was stupid and your customers were constantly asking you about it…:) Unfortunately, I think the time of reason and logic in discourse is gone. Many factors (including social media) have encouraged everyone to simply be the loudest and most aggressive. The Internet was never able to facilitate debate, and I say this as someone who started managing complaints for ISPs 20 years ago. Now it’s a million times worse.

        • I agree that businesses usually stay neutral so they don’t lose any potential audience. However, the comparison you are making is not an apples to apples. Gina wasn’t saying Disney sucks, or that cartoons are stupid, which would be the equivalent of an employee of mine saying Kimuras or MMA sucks. She was posting content that was political. The problem here is that by telling her to remove her post and apologize for it, they have picked a side so to speak. If they would have just told her not to post anything or that she was fired for political speech, that is one thing. But she is being fired because she is posting political speech they don’t like, as other actors posting political comments in agreement with their company have no problems. So I disagree that Disney isn’t political – it’s very political at this point, and that’s problematic.

          • Been thinking about your reply and this is quickly going into ‘should talk over a beer instead of online’ territory. Yeah, my example isn’t apples to apples but I suppose I was more making the point that employers need to protect their business. Boycotting is a thing for both sides (Nike and Chick-Fil-A come to mind), but left wing boycotting seems to have more teeth than right wing. Disney obviously leans left, but they’ve tried for a long time to dispel talk of Walt’s support of a certain German political party which I am not going to name. Her bringing up that group didn’t just offend customers, but hit a specific Disney hot button – I think it was more extreme than a generic political meme. (My view is biased because a close family friend was in Berlin in the 40s and so I react pretty strongly to any reference to it.) EVERYthing is political now and the tools we use to communicate and keep informed are geared to keep it that way. What’s left to talk about that can’t be spun as political by someone itching for an argument? Health? Weather? Sports? Music? Travel? I have friends on both sides of the aisle – they both think the other side is borderline evil and that I’m illogical for not picking their side. I don’t how it can ever get fixed unless we are invaded by space aliens and bond over a common enemy. 🙂

          • I agree Matt that everything has become highly polarized, but if we get invaded by space aliens in flying saucers, it would be hard to imagine we would survive as the technological advantage would likely by overwhelming. Perhaps AI would be the common enemy, and one that we would have a chance at winning. In the best case scenario, we destroy all social media and electronics and go back to living like caveman. 🙂

            I will take up on a drink, but I would do a Kombucha instead of a beer, lol

      • Robert Rodriguez says:

        Mad world. You’re right. The deception is real.

  • Patrick T says:

    I don’t post on social media, except occasional forums like this one, but I do browse. Sometimes it’s better to keep your political and religious views to yourself unless your job is to be controversial or political. If you want to go out on the web and make statements, I think you have just decided to accept the consequences. Cancel culture is, however, entirely out of control. It’s hard for me to be too critical when someone has a view that’s a little “out” or “off” unless they double down when others point it out. Being willing to accept that you might be narrow-minded about a topic, or that you did not realize that is was offensive, would better serve most of us, Gina Carrano included. Getting an assist from Ben Shapiro says something for itself… My Muay Thai instructor back in HI, Master Kham, talked to us often about taking the middle path. Far right is just as off center as far left. I wish Gina had received some wisdom from a sage martial artist during her journey. Her career showed a lot of promise.

    • I agree that most people would be well served to keep out of politics. People are more emotional about politics than they are rational unfortunately, and are incapable of being able to disagree with someone while still being respectable.

      For a celebrity, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to get political and potentially lose a massive amount of your audience. It’s true that by getting political, you can lose a large audience, but on the flip side you will the remaining audience will likely be more passionate as they identify with you more.

      I think what’s problematic is that some view points are celebrated and allowed to be published freely, while others are condemned and will have you cancelled. This goes against free speech.

      There is a lot of speech that is useless, hateful, and it’s intent is to harm. Nevertheless, it should be expressed. Sunlight is the greatest disinfectant, and people who propagate this type of speech can be exposed easily. When you try to ban speech or suppress it, it will be forced to go underground and fester, and those people will band together and become more hateful and resentful for being ostracized – not less.

      It’s better if everything is out in the open, and there are more chances for civil conversation when people can speak freely and not be afraid of being judged harshly and lose everything just for having a different viewpoint. But that’s a utopia that we are nowhere near living in unfortunately.

  • Robert Rodriguez says:

    I had learned about this through Ben Shapiro and other online sources. I read her post, her personal pronouns (“bee bop…), and some cancel culture hate comments / responses. Lucas Films lied about her. They misconstrued the meaning of what she posted. What she posted was really about a concept of a bad progression than what they made it out to be. The left cancel culture seems to have it out for conservatives and looks for ways to pin their contempt / hate on those who don’t deserve it and who do not think exactly as they do. Perhaps if they (the left extremest ) were not basing their beliefs off of shallow externals mixed with distorted perceptions to fulfill their desires to place blame and have contempt / hate, they could look into things based upon the actual words of the messages and the real intended meanings. Best! Thanks for the good messages David. Peace!

  • Patrick T says:

    To Robert R etc.: I think that when someone belongs to a disenfranchised group, whether it’s because of ancestry or gender or sexual preference, that has historically been on the receiving end of a lot of bigotry and violence, they might be ready to vent a lot of anger when tables finally turn in their favor. Sometimes those who have been bullied for a long time are more sensitive to being slighted, and use what is available to them to reciprocate. Unfortunately, social media has become that weapon. It has come a long way since Mark Zuckerberg and his college buds wanted a way to meet girls, or to make money helping people share pics with friends and family. As someone who passed the half century age, I never saw the pronouns quandary coming down the lane, but I assume a straight female could say she/her or am I wrong and the correct answer is they? It’s hard to believe things have come to this. I’m thankful that code words aren’t a problem in my life. I’m sure I’ll make mistakes if it ever comes up. To David A: I’m not sure that airing out one’s personal bigotries is going to subject them to the cleansing sunshine they need, it rather seems to attract increasingly harsher versions of itself. As cliche as it sounds, until we stop judging people harshly for things that don’t really affect us, and learn to cooperate concerning matters that do affect us all, we are going to be putting up with these kinds of stories for a while. Too bad. Utopia or dystopia really is our choice. Higher aspirations or baser instincts?

    • The thing is, that when I say that “Sunlight is the greatest disinfectant,” that’s assuming that the statement or opinion being expressed is viewed as abhorrent and without logic or reason. If someone stated something “crazy,” for example, they liked killing babies and stomping on them, I would imagine that wouldn’t find a willing audience, and whoever said that would be on the receiving end of an angry mob.

      But what is happening is that people are being silenced that are not outliers or lone wolfs. Rather, they are saying things that are representative of a large group of people and are being made an example. Plus, with the internet megaphone, any message can find willing ears, and the echo can sound much louder than the original voice.

      I agree that judgement creates all sorts of problems, and on many issues people are concerning themselves with matters that have no relation to them but interject anyways.

      At the same time, it would be naive to think that we can pretend there isn’t a growing divide between America’s left and right. Abortion, immigration, gun rights, education, taxation, social reform, and a host of other issues that affect all Americans are deeply polarizing, and are things that can’t be compromised by either side. Much like religion, people who are deeply involved can’t see the reason or logic of the other’s position, and it has become a battle of faith.

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