Look: I originally intended to stay out of this issue. Anyone who knows me already knows my political leanings, and I've absolutely no desire to spell it out for the masses-at-large. On one hand, I've always tried to treat politics the same way folks do religion: try not to talk about it. Sure, I may hate a past President or two, but I've always tried to find happiness in areas outside of politics. Did I ever want to kill a President? Oh, hell no. Did I ever wish a past President ill? Nope. Have I openly called one or two an idiot? Sure as hell did, as I sure as hell will when any of them do something demonstrably stupid. That's my right as an American, and I exercise it when I see fit ... or when I simply can't keep it to myself any longer.
Actors and actresses have long flitted and flirted with their own political causes. Many of them have their own charitable foundations -- much of which stems from their own views on life -- and regardless of whether or not I agree with their position I've always applauded folks who've used their fame and fortune behind-the-scenes to do something good on behalf of society. I'm not a big supporter of their political drivel being pushed on us publicly, though: I just don't think platforms like Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, and the like should be used to push agendas. Push the arts. That's what those shows are for, essentially. Too many of them have blurred that line -- the one separating causes from cause cé·lè·bre -- and that usually only serves to divide us further.
While I'm a big proponent of free speech, I do believe there should be consequences from employers when speech goes too far ... and "too far" is the operative phrase in all of that. I believe that because I stand for the civil society -- the one where each of us can have a say as well as having the means to tune others out. (If you don't like Matt Damon, then don't go to see Matt Damon's movies. See how that works?) So if a creative feels the need to spout off on a topic of the day, then that person should have the freedom to do so: if the exercise of his or her freedom negatively impacts an employer financially or culturally, then that employer should exercise whatever authority it has to see the speech issue addressed responsibly, up to and including termination.
So the question becomes ... how did Gina Carano's free speech hurt the Walt Disney Company?
Well, apparently Kathleen Kennedy had her feelings hurt by the Twitterazzi all demanding their pound of flesh. Though the head of Lucasfilm has turned a blind eye to all of Pedro Pascal's offensive Tweets, Gina's speech crossed a line (in her opinion), and now we are where we are.
Alas, I think this is total crap. This didn't deserve a response from Lucasfilm or Walt Disney, so far as I think or care. It was a total non-issue -- the classic variety -- and it should've been ignored. But we are where we are these days largely because irresponsible companies like Walt Disney continue to make decisions based entirely on dollars and less on the morality they claim to be protecting.
Example: Pedro Pascal has repeatedly compared supporters of Donald Trump to Nazis and the KKK. I'm guessing Kathleen Kennedy thinks that's okay because perhaps she agrees with Pedro.
Example: the Walt Disney Company hired James Gunn -- writer and director of the Guardians Of The Galaxy flicks -- even knowing that the man's Tweets are ... Hell ... what's the word for it? Well, the polite word for it is "offensive," but some might argue "criminal." Many, many, many of them are objectionable. While others have been quick to point out that Disney did fire him when these Tweets came to light (a joke if there ever were because the Tweets have followed Gunn around for at least a decade), the MouseHouse still hired him back once their stars and starlets through a collective hissy fit about their director's dismissal.
Example: Mark Hamill's open hatred of Trump and Trump supporters brought no consequence. Is Kathleen Kennedy just biased against strong, confident, and outspoken women? Is she afraid of Mark Hamill? Or is she so afraid of Gina that this was the only way for Kathleen to create a "safe space" for herself?
Example: Joss Whedon? Anyone?
Example: Star Wars "author" Justina Ireland? Anyone?
I won't go on because, at this point, many others who are far more erudite than I have already wadded into this conflict. As I said, I hadn't intended to say anything about it, but I saw a few posts online today that got my dander up.
I will say that I stand with Gina. I will say also that I stand with those who are calling for Kathleen Kennedy's ouster. I will also add that I think both Jon Favreau and Pedro Pascal are pussies for NOT demanding Gina be rehired or, at the very least, coming to her defense publicly. (I've seen you in enough interviews, Mr. Pascal, to think you're an intellectual lightweight anyway, and I'm guessing civility is NOT in your wheelhouse.) And if you're of the mindset to cancel your subscription to Disney+ because all of this offends you, then more power to you.
As always, thanks for reading ... and May the Force be with us all.