Until recently, leftists championed the motto “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” No longer. We have seen antifa’s no platforming strategy morph into the progressives’ “cancel culture,” with Hollywood moving from blacklisting conservatives to purging them.
Last week, actress Gina Carano was targeted by a Twitter cancel campaign #FireGinaCarano. Carano, a former mixed martial artist who between 2006-09 compiled a 7-1 record on the professional circuit earning the nickname “the face of women’s MMA,” transitioned to Hollywood where she starred in action films such as “Haywire,” “Fast & Furious,” and “Deadpool,” doing much of her own stunt work. Most recently, she starred in the hit Star Wars spinoff “The Mandalorian.”
If Hollywood has ever seen a strong leading female, it is Carano. And while it is OK to be a closeted conservative in Hollywood, her unforgivable sin is that she is feisty and vocal, and progressives hate nothing more than that.
In a textbook example of the left’s intolerance, Disney executives fired Carano last week for a recent Instagram story that they labeled “abhorrent and unacceptable.” Carano had reposted a photograph taken during the 1941 Lviv pogroms of a child with a blunt object chasing a woman in undress along with the following quote:
“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 likened Republicans today to Jews during the Holocaust. And paralleling the behavior of today’s American socialists with German national socialists, Carano’s thought crime was a direct challenge to the left’s cancel culture. Then, by canceling Carano, Disney proved her point. The irony is only lost on neo-fascists.
Disney has displayed its own hypocrisy over and over again, firing and rehiring at will depending on whether or not the leftist social and political narrative is upheld. James Gunn, director of Disney’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” was fired in 2018 over social media posts featuring subjects including rape and pedophilia and subsequently rehired.
The Mandalorian’s lead star, Pedro Pascal, in 2018 posted on his Twitter account two juxtaposing pictures — the first depicting Jews behind barbed wire captioned “1944 Germany,” and the second featuring children who appear to be in cages captioned “America, 2018.” Then, after Trump lost the election, Pascal posted a photo paralleling the defeat of the Republicans to the defeat of the Nazis in 1945. He painted 74 million Americans as Nazis, but because it followed the left narrative, it wasn’t shot down as “abhorrent and unacceptable.”
I have been encouraged by how Carano is handling being fired from a hit TV series and being dropped by the UTA talent agency. She is a fighter, in the ring and out. First, she posted:“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, and I hope it inspires others to do the same. They can’t cancel us if we don’t let them.”
Second, on Jan. 1, Ben Shapiro’s The Daily Wire announced that it was branching into the entertainment industry. Its first movie, “Run Hide Fight,” dealt with the taboo topic of school shootings and was brilliant. Furthermore, Shapiro announced that Carano is partnering with The Daily Wire to produce and star in an upcoming film.
Cancel culture is formalized bullying under a different label, and the left’s political and social structures have formalized this bullying as their method to change the world. Their failed attempt to cancel Carano gives me hope that conservatives will grow a backbone in 2021 and stand up against the cancel culture. It will not be easy, and it will not be cheap. But it is imperative.
Dale Courtney served 20 years in nuclear engineering aboard submarines and 15 years as a graduate school instructor. He now spends his spare time chasing his grandchildren around the Palouse.