Photo Courtesy of @starwars on Twitter
The day was Feb. 10, 2020 when “Star Wars” fans across the country woke up and checked their Twitter feeds, anxious for some news about the ten shows as well as numerous movies that were announced a month prior. Instead of what they expected, they were shocked to find an insensitive message from “The Mandalorian” actress Gina Carano, who plays Cara Dune in the show, which compared having conservative beliefs in Hollywood to being a Jew in the Holocaust. This was not the first time Carano had made an insensitive remark, but it would be considered the final straw for the fandom. Outraged, the Twitter community united in an effort for Carano to experience consequences that resulted in Carano getting removed from the show along with all other future projects in the Disney Kingdom for the time being.
Although it was shocking to see Carano get removed from the show, this was not the first time a celebrity has been held accountable for insensitive comments or posts on social media. From Nick Cannon’s anti-semitic comment on his podcast to Roseanne Barr’s racist remark about Valerie Jarrett on Twitter, a great number of celebrities have revealed their ugly sides and faced the consequences for it. Despite many people using these celebrities as inspiration at certain points in the past, the overwhelming majority feel that celebrities should face consequences as a consequence of their harmful behavior.
“Celebrities should always be held accountable for their actions on social media,” sophomore Brandon Gerber said. “Celebrities have large platforms in which they can share their opinion, and by sharing an opinion that is wrong and/or hateful they can amplify false narratives.”
Gerber, who enjoys watching Star Wars content, including “The Mandalorian,” was angered by Carano’s numerous offensive tweets that degraded Jewish people, as well as the LGBTQ+ community.
“Reading her tweet about the Holocaust made me curious as to how she thought that being oppressed like the Jews were was similar to her struggles,” Gerber said. “By doing this, she disrespected the Jewish community and clearly showed misplaced judgement.”
Another celebrity that faced consequences most recently for an insensitive comment is Meyers Leonard, who is a basketball player for the Miami Heat. Leonard, an avid gamer, was asked to step away from the team, and was fined by the NBA for his usage of an anti-semitic slur on one of his Twitch streams in March. However, the true punishment for Leonard came in the form of a tarnished reputation, as many of his fans were revolted by his remark.
“Even though he plays for my team, the Miami Heat, I am not a fan of him anymore because of what he said,” sophomore Nathan Birnbaum said. “It saddened me to see that one of the players on the team that I root for would say such a thing to thousands of viewers.”
Leonard has since made an apology, citing that he did not know what the slur meant when he said it. Unfortunately for him, many fans still refuse to forgive him and see the apology as too little too late.
“I cannot accept his apology because the damage has already been done,” Birnbaum said. “When an apology is as forced as Leonard’s felt, it makes me feel like he didn’t care that he offended so many people.”
The expansion of social media is certainly a cause of the increased frequency of these incidents. Now more than ever, celebrities are constantly under the public eye, and anything offensive that they say or do is very likely to be spread across social media. Starting with Roseanne Barr’s removal from her show, “Roseanne” in 2018, society has spotlighted the inappropriate actions of celebrities, and have become a powerful force in the media.
“The rise of social media has led to more instances of celebrities being fired or facing consequences because there are now more instances for celebrities to slip up in the public eye,” Gerber said. “Rather than having to be called out by someone, they show more of themselves that the public didn’t use to see.”