The costs of “Free Speech”

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Recently, Gina Carano, the actress that played Cara Dune on what is quite possibly the most popular and successful part of the Star Wars universe was fired from her involvement with the show. In their statement, Lucasfilm called Carano’s posts “abhorrent and unacceptable.” The actor has also been dropped as a client by her talent agency UTA. In addition to the comparing the treatment of people with political differences in modern times to that of Nazi Germany…she also was an anti-masker and tended to share information publicly on social media about other falsities that stem from the (insert letter here) – believers. 

Sure, You Can Say Whatever You Want

Let’s look at the 1st Amendment and break it down from there. 
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
There is also this bit that people fail to understand or refuse to accept:  Speech provoking actions that would harm others—true incitement and/or threats—is also not protected, but again determining what words have qualified as true incitement has been decided on a case-by-case basis. This was a reaction process by our founding fathers due to previous experiences. 

Basically, you can’t go into a crowded movie theater and yell “Fire” for the sake of provoking chaos or fear. You also can’t incite a riot or threaten others. There are consequences. While Carano did not threaten anyone or cause any sort of chaos, she did choose her social media platforms to share false information and make comparisons to what is a very ugly part of our history. It wasn’t hate speech, but it was thoughtless and emotionally harmful to some. This particular event that I believe was the final straw for her role on The Mandalorian. It’s sorta like Disney was saying, “Ok, we’ll overlook the first few ones, let’s see where she goes with it.” Well, Gina went too far. 

Cancel Culture

We’re in a world currently where events like this would have been simply ignored in the past or not even broadcast to the point where it is now.  Unfortunately, for some, this sort of thing happens sooner than they would like. We’re in a world where media can ruin someone’s career. The people that abuse or even assault others are being exposed and shamed. Calls for employment termination have become the norm. Good. You reap what you sow. If you’re that sort of person, you have no business continuing in anything until you get help to stop the cycle of abuse and/or face the consequences of your behavior. 

There are those on that scream “Cancel Culture” or try to find a “yeah, but…” reasoning. Are we too quick to cancel someone because of what they said? Or something they did? Possibly. But in the same sense, these are just the cases we know of. These are the tip of the iceberg. 

This Brings Us Back

Ahh…the 1st Amendment…Freedom of Speech. The Carano event, like it or not, happened. She put these words out on a public platform that is privately owned. Guess what? Freedom of speech doesn’t apply here. The US Government didn’t stifle her speech, they didn’t fire her, they didn’t do anything. She did. She did it all by herself. 

Disney and her agents took a look at what she was saying and sharing on Twitter and said, “No, thanks. We’re going to cut ties with you because we don’t agree with what you’re saying. It goes against our policies.” It’s just like if I walked into my employer and publicly said awful things about my coworker or used racial insults in emails. I’d be gone immediately. So save the complaints about her losing her rights and freedom of speech. That doesn’t apply here. Read a book and figure it out.

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