The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the position of ZU Media or APU
Her removal from LucasFilms should not have taken place, but her mistakes teach us all important lessons.
On Feb. 10, LucasFilm announced in a statement that Gina Carano was no longer employed by them after she posted several controversial Instagram stories. The internet blew up with everyone’s opinion on whether or not she should have been fired. Her story points out key issues within society; however, I do not think she should have been fired.
Carano has always been vocally conservative and has experienced controversy before over her putting “beep/bop/boop” in her Twitter bio making fun of people who put preferred pronouns in their bios. However, her Instagram story posts on Feb. 9 are what caused an uproar.
“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 How is that any different from hating someone for their political views,” the post, which was originally made on a different Instagram account, read.
She then posted a picture of someone wearing multiple masks and captioned it, “Meanwhile in California.” Both her Nazi post and her mask wearing post were taken down while her posts about, “Expecting everyone you encounter to agree with every belief or view you hold is f**** wild,” and one saying, “Jeff Epstein didn’t kill himself,” remained.
First off, her decision to just throw out controversial opinions is an example of how many people do not understand how to navigate social media well. The struggle to keep up comes from how quickly social media has changed. 10 years ago no one was a social media influencer and anyone could post random thoughts, but today, social media is about branding.
However, her errors are about more than improper usage of social media. It is about ignorance. Today, everyone feels the need to compare people to the Nazis on both sides of the political aisle. For example, CNN reports that two House Democrats have compared Hitler to Trump.
“This trend is far from new, but it is escalating at a disturbing rate in increasingly polarized times. The Holocaust has become shorthand for good vs. evil; it is the epithet to end all epithets. And the current environment of rapid fire online communication and viral memes lends itself particularly well to this sort of sloppy analogizing… This oversimplified approach to complex history is dangerous,” said Edna Friedberg, Ph.D. in a press release. I highly suggest you read the press release here. It explains why you should not compare events or people to the Holocaust in far better words than I could.
Because of this background, Carano’s decision to remove the post was probably the best move considering how insensitive it was. However, was it really worth her getting fired over? I do not believe so, as others have not been fired or cancelled for making a similar comparison on the other side of the political aisle.
The next point that people make is that she has participated in hate speech in the past due to her post about pronouns in her bio. She has apologized for her errors.
“He [Pedro Pascal] helped me understand why people were putting them in their bios. I didn’t know before, but I do now. I won’t be putting them in my bio but good for all you who choose to. I stand against bullying, especially the most vulnerable & [support] freedom to choose,” she wrote at the time.
While this does not excuse her ignorance, I personally believe in forgiving people for their mistakes and moving on. I don’t believe that incident is worth firing her for unless it is a repeated problem. Her other posts on Epstein and masks are simply far right opinions, which highlight our need to not blindly follow any political agenda and the need to post facts to support your thoughts.
Finally, her mistakes point out a need for civil discourse that cannot be done over social media. According to The Atlantic, what Facebook, Twitter and YouTube do is cause flow, which is a technical term for the strategy they use to keep you totally engaged on their app. Since social media has flow, discussions about civil actions get buried under text, images and videos.
I urge all of you to take a look at how you portray yourself on social media. Encourage free speech and civility. Post thoughtful and nuanced opinions, not a regurgitation of a political agenda. Also, for the love of God, stop calling people Nazis. Gina Carano made mistakes; however, she is not the only one who has made these errors. Her being fired while others are not just doesn’t make any sense.