New York Magazine published an op-ed this weekend comparing Gina Carano's firing from The Mandalorian to the Hollywood blacklist in the 1950s. Columnist Jonathan Chait argued in The Intelligencer that there is no "principled distinction" between the treatment of Carano today and the treatment of actors suspected of sympathizing with communists in the 20th century. The comparison has drawn harsh backlash on Chait and the magazine.
Carano has played Cara Dune on Star Wars: The Mandalorian for two seasons now, but her political commentary has drawn more and more backlash down on her. Last week, she made an Instagram post comparing the treatment of conservatives in the U.S. today to the treatment of Jewish people in Nazi Germany. At the time, Disney announced that Carano was no longer a cast member on The Mandalorian and would not be in the future, and the UTA talent agency fired her as well. However, Chait argued that Carano's post "was not anti-Semitic by any reasonable definition."
"The post simply argued (uncontroversially) that the Holocaust grew out of a hate campaign against Jews, which it then likened (controversially) to hatred of fellow Americans for their political views," Chait wrote. "I don't find this post especially insightful. But overheated comparisons to Nazi Germany are quite common, and, more to the point, not anti-Semitic. There is no hint anywhere in this post of sympathy for Nazis or blame for their victims."
Before this incident, Carano made other political posts that outraged fans as well, including some mocking transgender people and condemning the Black Lives Matter movement. Fans petitioned Disney to fire Carano before The Mandalorian Season 2 was even in the works. Chait blamed the media for this outrage, and accused reporters of misrepresenting Carano's rhetoric.
"The tone of the reporting simply conveys her posts as though they were a series of petty crimes, the punishment of which is inevitable and self-evidently justified," he wrote. "The principle that an actor ought to be fired for expressing unsound political views has simply faded into the background. If you think blacklisting is only bad if its targets have sensible views, I have some bad news for you about communism."
Chait acknowledged that creators and corporations in Hollywood have the right to choose who they work with, but still felt that Carano's firing was unjustly motivated. Referencing the McCarthyism of the last century, writing: "A Dalton Trumbo ought to have been able to hold onto his screenwriting job even though he supported a murderous dictator like Stalin, and actors ought to be able to work even if they support an authoritarian bigot like Donald Trump."