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Actress Gina Carano in season one of “The Man­dalorian.” Courtesy | Flickr

Cancel culture is at it again, can­celing right and left, and not just metaphor­i­cally. Last week the left can­celed “The Bachelor” host Chris Har­rison and con­testant Rachel Lindsay, as well as actress Gina Carano, who starred as Cara Dune in “The Man­dalorian.”

Carano’s story, however, was dif­ferent from other celebrity can­cel­la­tions we’ve seen in the last year.  

Cancel culture is a social phe­nomenon that picked up speed in recent years and snow­balled during the Black Lives Matter riots of the summer. It gen­erally involves digging up some long-for­gotten pic­tures or social media posts of a public figure and judging the person based on current “woke” stan­dards. The victim is sub­se­quently wrung out on social media, and despite usually issuing a humil­i­ating apology, is trampled underfoot.

This new version of cul­tural cen­sorship enables trolls and social-justice war­riors to condemn a person for his political beliefs, put him out of a job, harass him at his home, and ensure that his name lives in infamy. It’s dan­gerous for democracy and our right to free speech, and it’s fatal for the careers of many. Unless, of course, you happen to be a leftist; then, you might be able to come back into the lime­light in three or four months.

Carano’s story is dif­ferent, however, because she was can­celed while com­paring cancel culture to Nazi per­se­cution of Jews during the Holo­caust.

In an Instagram post that has now been removed, Carano reminded her audience that prior to the Holo­caust, Jews were silenced from dissent and even­tually beaten in the streets by their own neighbors. She asked how that was any dif­ferent from hating others for their political views.

Many labeled this “anti­se­mitic.”

Well, only “anti­se­mitic” because, for once, the left is being com­pared to the Nazis, not the right. They don’t like that, and Carano clearly didn’t get the memo.

On Feb. 10, the Twitter mob exploded with demands to #FireGi­naCarano, and Disney did just that. Carano dis­covered that she was fired in a public statement from Disney which called her original post “abhorrent.”

Carano did not issue an apology. She did not grovel before the mob. She moved on.

On Feb. 12, she was hired by The Daily Wire and given an equally, if not better, job than the one she had with Disney. She will be pro­ducing, directing, and starring in her own film. Iron­i­cally, the owner of Daily Wire, Ben Shapiro, is a vocal Jew. That he hired Carano makes one wonder how anti­se­mitic her post actually was.

Carano’s story ended very dif­fer­ently than the many other can­cel­la­tions of the last year, it ended with what she called: “a dream come true.”

Compare this with “The Bachelor” stars I men­tioned. When Lindsay was can­celed last week after a picture of her from a college party sur­faced, she apol­o­gized. Her apology was not accepted, and Har­rison made com­ments in an interview sug­gesting there was some­thing wrong with a culture not ready to exchange for­giveness. He was sub­se­quently can­celed and has since extended his own unac­cepted apology. 

So why is Carano’s story so dif­ferent? Maybe there are a few lessons here for Hillsdale stu­dents, who will likely be affected by cancel culture once they have left their college years behind. 

The most apparent lesson seems to be “don’t apol­ogize for your beliefs.” As Lindsay and Har­rison dis­covered, apologies won’t change whether or not you’re can­celed. Might as well go down in flames of dis­tin­guished glory.

Another lesson: our childhood friend, Disney, has been ensnared by the real-life villain of a degraded culture. We largely ignored alle­ga­tions that Disney praised Chinese police who were involved in human rights vio­la­tions against Uighur Muslims during the pro­duction of “Mulan” in 2019. We’ve turned a mental blind eye to the leftist pro­pa­ganda being spewed in their newer films and TV shows, such as nor­mal­izing gay and LGBTQ lifestyles in movies like “Beauty and the Beast.” Gina Carano’s story tells us Disney is no longer the happy-go-lucky, “the princess finds a prince” company we thought we knew. 

This speaks to a broader point: The culture is ensnared, it has become almost impos­sible to live in the world, have a career, make money, post any­thing to the internet, without the threat of being can­celed hanging over our heads.

The way to fix the problem isn’t to cancel the cancel culture. The way to fix the problem is to transform culture — one con­ver­sation at a time.

 

Aubrey Gulick is a sophomore studying history.