OPINION: Gina Carano’s firing from Disney+ encourages cancel culture

Luci Schwarz

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 Regardless of your opinion in politics, religion or any other area, I believe everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. 

     Cancel culture, on the other hand, is a rising issue, especially now that social media plays a large part of our daily lives. This toxicity seeks to bully and silence others, and it is saddening how many people will use Twitter or other platforms to attack or block one another. 

     Instead of engaging in an open and respectful discussion, it feels to me that many of us are too quick to say “no, you’re wrong. I won’t listen.” Why do we feel the need to shut each other down instead of trying to learn from one another? 

     In a prime example of this, just recently, Gina Carano, the actress who portrayed Cara Dune on the 2019 Disney+ show “The Mandalorian,” was fired from her role following a controversial sequence of events that many people, in my opinion, misunderstood. 

     If you watch any of Carano’s interviews, it is not difficult to realize that she is genuinely very sweet and does not hold hate for anyone in her heart.  

     Bill Burr, a co-star on “The Mandalorian,” even commented on his podcast, “The Bill Bert Podcast,” that he thought Carano was “an absolute sweetheart” and went on to comment that it feels like there are “people waiting, just lying in the weeds” so that “it’s becoming, like, ‘Hey you made an ignorant comparison. There goes your dream.’” 

Image courtesy of Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency/Sipa USA 

     It is easy to dismiss one another, especially behind the shield of computer screens, but we need to start imagining ourselves in that position and showing empathy. 

     The people who led the charge with the trending hashtag #FireGinaCarano were upset mostly over her right leaning political views.  

     I’ve listed three of her “wrongdoings” and what I believe her train of thought was regarding each of them, as follows: 

  1. She made a joke in her Twitter bio, writing “boop/bop/beep” instead of her pronouns. 

     Carano’s point of view: She was making a joke, pointing out that this was her Twitter bio and she could write what she wanted. In a later tweet, once she realized that people had taken it the wrong way, she wrote that it was not an attack on transgender people whatsoever and that she would never target or go after anyone. 

  1. She tweeted that we need more laws to prevent voter fraud. 

     Carano’s point of view: She just decided to educate herself in politics. This was her first time voting and she knew it was an important process. When she handed in her ballot, they did not ask for her ID and, thus, she was rather shocked about that. 

  1. She posted via her Instagram story that “Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors… even by children… 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?” 

     Carano’s point of view: While comparing anything to the Holocaust is hardly ever advisable, this was a circumstance in which I believe she really meant that it seems that the government is feeding off the left and right’s hatred for one another. Carano used the Holocaust to showcase how Adolf Hitler turned others against Jewish people, through inhumane and villainizing propaganda. This is similar to how in America today, we hate and persecute one another when we hear what side of the political spectrum someone else is on, though we have not actually reached a point as awful as the Holocaust. 

     Interestingly enough, Pedro Pascal, another “Mandalorian” star, has made tweets about his political views on the left, including one posted on Feb. 11 that compared Trump supporters to Nazis and confederates. This appears to be a double standard but elucidates the fact that we are all simply human and should not be harassed over political beliefs. 

     To get more of Carano’s perspective on the matter, I suggest watching the Feb. 21 interview she did with Ben Shapiro, a Jewish and conservative political commentator, on his show “The Daily Wire,” following her release from Disney+. It depicts her thoughts on bullies, questioning the system and emphasizing that she is simply a human being. 

     Putting aside whether or not you support Carano, Shapiro or conservative ideals, it is important that we listen to one another to at least try to understand one another. Then, if you still do not agree, at least you feel that you have the entire picture. 

     The day Disney and Lucas Film announced that Carano would no longer appear in “The Mandalorian” or “Rangers of the Republic,” “The Daily Wire” reached out to her to offer her the opportunity to produce and perform in her own film. 

     This is how we fight cancel culture. This is how we stop dehumanization and bring back freedom of speech. Carano shared with Shapiro in her interview that she and Pascal have very different political views, but they will always be, first and foremost, friends. 

      Mob mentality is so dangerous and while I believe in using our voices, we cannot continue to give power to people who solely want to shut others down and ruin their lives. Villainizing one another just separates us further and giving power to the mob only leads to damaging us all. 

     As a society, I believe we need to work together; that is the only way we can overcome cancel culture.