How Lucasfilm’s Decision to Fire Gina Carano Sets an Important Precedent in Hollywood

Photo Courtesy: Lucasfilm/Disney+

On February 10, Lucasfilm released a statement noting that Mandalorian actor Gina Carano’s remarks on social media were "abhorrent and unacceptable." As a result, the Star Wars production company cut ties with the actor. A Lucasfilm spokesperson stated, "Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future." Of course, this is just the most recent example of a celebrity using their platform to express hateful views and spread misinformation. Still, that doesn’t make it any less harmful.

Over the past year, the most high-profile instance of a celebrity eroding their goodwill and spreading hate came in the form of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s anti-transgender tirades. Not only did Rowling dig her heels into her bigoted, TERF — trans-exclusionary radical feminist — viewpoints, but she also refused to be held accountable, decrying "cancel culture" in an open letter. Hannah Giorgis of The Atlantic perhaps described the situation best, writing, "Many prominent writers and thinkers seem invested in the notion that simply facing strong public criticism is a threat to free speech." Moreover, it’s difficult to understand how someone with over 14 million Twitter followers and an estimated net worth of $1 billion can feel their voice is being stifled. In fact, it’s that massive platform that makes Rowling especially harmful.

In spreading hate, violence and misinformation, Rowling has done irreparable damage to so many with her words. And not just with the words that compose her transphobic tweets and essays. That is, Rowling’s bigotry is ingrained in her books, in how she depicts people of color and queer folks, and in how she appropriates cultures she doesn’t belong to (and, frankly, shouldn’t be writing about). "As a YA author, I know books save lives," Kacen Callender writes in their article Harry Potter Saved My Life. J.K. Rowling Is Now Endangering Trans People Like Me. "I also know how dangerous and painful Rowling’s transphobia is for millions."