By Donagh Broderick
One has to wonder why celebrities continue to use Twitter when it often seems to invite career damaging controversy for them. Recently, actor Gina Carano who readers may recognise as the popular character Cara Dune from The Mandalorian was fired from Disney over a tweet she recently put out.
In the tweet she compared the demonising of Republicans in the US to the manner in which the Nazis turned people against their neighbours before ever carrying out their atrocities. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back as Disney has been looking for an excuse to fire her since last November over a number of other tweets such as voicing suspicion of election fraud and mocking the use of pronouns in Twitter bios.
While holocaust and Nazi comparisons are commonplace these days Carons’ comparison was perhaps more nuanced than her opponents may give her credit for. She was highlighting how the vilification of others is the first thing that happens before any actual murder is committed against them.
Now of course Disney is within their rights to fire and hire whomever they choose to do so and given the company’s desire to maintain a family friendly image and avoid potential controversy it is easy to see why they chose to fire Carano. There is precedent for this too.
James Gunn, the director of The Guardians of the Galaxy films, was temporarily fired by Disney over paedophilic jokes he made on Twitter before both fan and actor support saw him brought back, although in Gunn’s case he had made such tweets prior to his employment at Disney. Time will tell if this choice will be a smart decision for Disney which is already struggling to maintain and grow the subscriber base for Disney plus with The Mandalorian being a major draw to the streaming service. Carano has at least managed to land on her feet and has secured a new directing and acting job with the Daily Wire.
But if Carano’s comments were too controversial or unacceptable then it must be asked why has The Mandalorian’s titular star, Pedro Pascal not been fired? Like Carano, he too has made low bar Nazi comparison tweets comparing border detention centres to concentration camps and Trump voters to Nazis. It would not be hard to do either as he has frequently not even been on screen for his scenes in full armour, only lending his voice in the editing process.
Or how about Liu Yuifei, who played Mulan in the recent live action remake? The actress made comments defending the Hong Kong police Added to this, Mulan was filmed in a region that is rounding up, interning, and sterilising their Muslim minority. If people are going to make Nazi comparisons to anything today, surely this is the comparison most deserving of that?
This perhaps highlights the sheer vacuity of Disney’s progressive, family friendly image which only follows the money. This is why Disney chose to remove black actor John Boyega from marketing material for Star Wars in China where darker skinned people are viewed more negatively and why they continue to keep on actors such as Yuifei who garner sales in the Chinese market. It is also why they keep the likes of Pascal. Because the loudest voices in the English seeking world are not angry over these things.
This is why Disney will threaten to stop filming in Georgia over their more restrictive abortion laws, as opposed to refusing to film in a country like Jordan where abortion laws are also quite restrictive. It’s an easy virtue signalling victory that is not actually all that difficult for them to work around. When it comes to Disney, progressive branding is nothing more than a means of making money and one that will be easily dropped when those that care are not looking or when it threatens the bottom line.