Recent news headlines have depicted Gina Carano, best known for her character Cara Dune in the Disney+ series The Mandalorian, fired from the role after some ‘abhorrent’ social media posts.
Her latest controversial Twitter post – which has since been deleted – reportedly stated ‘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 neighbours hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views?’. In the tweet Carano seems to be equating being Republican in 21st century America to being Jewish in the period of the Holocaust. Not only is this an extremely distasteful and offensive statement, but Carano’s justification of such ‘political views’ was not even her first offence. It seems the studio had been looking for a reason to fire her for a while after a series of previous problematic posts placed her job in jeopardy.
If no one were to call her out on her shocking behaviour, would she ever be punished for it?
Last year, Carano was accused of mocking transgender pronouns by putting ‘Beep/bop/boop’ in her Twitter bio, where some people may put ‘she/her’ or ‘they/them’ and so on in support of transgender people doing the same. After being asked by Disney to apologise, she refused. Carano, who is a former MMA fighter, also claimed that the recent 2020 election was a ‘fraud’ and mocked mask wearers in a string of tweets, adding further fuel to the fire slowly leading to her dismissal. After hearing of her loss of Cara Dune apparently through social media (ironically the platform which caused her downfall), Carano responded to the news in a message simultaneously promoting a new film she will be making in collaboration with conservative website, The Daily Wire. Her statement, given to Deadline, read ‘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… they can’t cancel us if we don’t let them’.
Carano’s vindication against the ‘totalitarian mob’ seems reminiscent of other right-wing celebrities who have been called out for similar behaviour. Katie Hopkins is an excellent example of a figure who conducted similar, if not arguably worse, social media offenses. Her Twitter account has now been permanently banned due to Hopkins’ (many) controversial posts. Her tweet captioned ‘this is how it feels to be a white conservative women’, attached to an image of herself with a target on her head sparked controversy among social media users. Hopkin’s self-victimisation bears striking resemblance to Carano’s own statement claiming censorship and ‘cancellation’ of her (extremely offensive) views. This censorship debate becomes even more difficult when considering the complications of ‘cancel culture’ popular on social media.
But when her views coincide with being offensive, transphobic and racist/xenophobic, is cancel culture toxic or is it necessary?
While I don’t agree with cancel culture on the whole, it is after all very toxic, Carano’s attack on it raises questions on the arguable importance of it in cases such as hers. If no one were to call her out on her shocking behaviour, would she ever be punished for it, or would Disney have tried to brush it under the rug? And if she were not reprimanded, would this open doors for others to do the same, or worse? Cancel culture on Twitter therefore becomes a political debate, as right-wing figures being criticised such as in the case of Carano’s firing becomes a classic ‘snowflake left-wing gone mad’ dispute. But when her views coincide with being offensive, transphobic and racist/xenophobic, is cancel culture toxic or is it necessary?
To see massive corporations such as Disney taking a stance against offensive opinions such as Carano’s is encouraging and also sets a standard of respect for both fans and those under their employment. It reassures those from marginalized backgrounds that they will be stood up for in the face of ignorance and intolerance, where they may not have been in the past. News of Carano’s firing may be disappointing for fans of the series, especially as the spin off Rangers of the New Republic rumoured to heavily feature Carano as Cara Dune will also now have to be recast – the situation surrounding her dismissal is clearly unavoidable. Hopefully the next Cara Dune will be an improvement on her predecessor and will hopefully have a less offensive and self-destructive social media presence, however possible that is.
In article trailer courtesy of Netflix via YouTube.
In article images courtesy of ginajcarano via Instagram. No changes made to these images.
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