It always sucks getting fired from a job. You feel undignified and rightfully scared since your livelihood has been taken from you in a matter of seconds. However, you’re strong, so you pick yourself up to either find another job or change directions altogether, whether it be changing your career or starting your own business. Brush yourself off and keep going; everything happens for a reason.
Gina Carano, who played Cara Dune on The Mandalorian, experienced this type of situation in early February. She was fired from Lucasfilm and Disney for a social media post in which she alluded to the fact that the political climate, specifically towards conservatives, is comparable to the way in which Jews were treated in Nazi Germany back in the 1930’s.
While her post may not have been communicated tactfully, she has told Ben Shapiro in an interview that this is not what she meant and by no means is she anti-Semitic. In fact, she is hurt by the pushback she received and the names that she has been called because of the backlash and subsequent firing. Carano tends to lean more conservative in her political ideologies and has spoken out on Twitter, essentially giving the middle finger to her boss that wanted her to include her pronouns on her Twitter page and has discussed COVID restrictions.
Carano has now been hired by The Daily Wire, the conservative opinion site co-founded by Ben Shapiro, to create and produce content as part of their up-and-coming entertainment division. We are all familiar with the term “cancel culture” and Hollywood and Corporate America’s subtle embrace of “woke”-like topics that do the opposite of the goal in which they are trying to achieve. My question is: if our current Hollywood can’t tolerate a dissenting opinion and prefers to live in a bubble refusing to be challenged, does this mean we will have a left Hollywood and a right Hollywood in the near future?
Hollywood has not always been mostly registered Democrats. The 1920’s and 1930’s saw a large majority of those in power in Hollywood to be conservatives. This began to change gradually around the 1930’s when people like Orson Welles started to support FDR’s candidacy. Ironically, those on the left were even vilified in the 1950’s for being liberals as those in power thought they would be “employing a communist”. The tables were different back in those days when conservatives were the majority in Tinseltown.
This began to change in the late 1950’s and 1960’s when both liberal celebrities were coming to the forefront and those in executive positions were heading major networks like NBC and ABC, with several of them formerly working for President Lyndon Johnson. Some shows back had liberal undertones, and these executives’ counterparts would take on the reigns and produce more liberal leaning content. And it goes on and on from there…until where we are today.
It’s no secret that many in Hollywood with conservative belief system have been blacklisted because they speak out about their political ideologies and those in power don’t like the challenge. It’s hard for them to get work. There’s probably plenty more conservatives in Hollywood we don’t know about, but they tend to stay quiet. Some may even be canceled for being guilty by association. Henry Cavill, the actor that currently plays Superman, is in danger of being “cancelled” because he dated Gina Carano in the early 2010’s. Some are just cancelled for their support of a presidential candidate with a demagogic character. Does this make them a bad person? Not at all.
Don’t get me wrong; some are cancelled because of the content of their character or because they have done reprehensible stuff. I don’t blame a director or an executive for choosing to release an actor because they are just so damn difficult. Also, if the actions like sexual misconduct are blaringly clear and disgusting, that’s more than fair to “cancel” someone. It’s a different situation, however, when the talent doesn’t choose to “walk the walk” or “talk the talk” politically.
It seems like we have known for the longest time that those in Hollywood have their heads in the clouds and can’t relate to those of us that in the middle and working classes. Some people don’t want to hear about a celebrity’s outspoken liberal views, and it may even draw them closer to the other side. I mean, if someone really wanted to avoid the Hollywood zeitgeist, they would just watch Tim Allen and James Wood movies and TV shows. This isn’t realistic right now, of course, but you get my point.
On one hand, I’m happy for Ben Shapiro’s company for creating a new entertainment division to counter Hollywood. We remain a capitalistic society and as someone who heavily supports capitalism, it’s always good to have some competition. On the other hand, it feels as if we are so far gone and so politically divided as a society that this is what our entertainment has come to. Differing opinions and open dialogue are paramount to our democracy remaining intact. Why may we have to decide between “owning the libs” or “owning the Repubs” in our entertainment consumption? It doesn’t seem right to me.
Most of us in the real world, at least in a perfect universe, are hired because of our fit into a company’s culture and our qualifications. It has nothing to do with our political beliefs in most cases. Yes, it’s clear Hollywood is one big freelance world in a way, but why can’t Hollywood work in a similar fashion? Better yet, even if the actor or actress has a differing opinion, hear them out. Understand why they feel that way. Don’t decline to work with them because they happened to believe in a different way of government rule. It’s not right that people must hide their friendships with those of a differing political opinion or just hide it all together. Why must we live in secrecy?
It’s obvious that money makes the world go round and it can be the root of all evil at times. If Hollywood prefers to patronize, cancel, or shun those that may not believe the same way they do politically, it may be a matter of time before they lose viewership and money. Goodbye, Hollywood and hello, Nashville, Hollywood, Florida, or whichever city will take the place of “Red Hollywood”.
- Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of the How the Left Took over Your TV, by Ben Shapiro, Broadside Books, 2012, pp. 21–38.