Is all publicity good publicity? If so, is there a limit? By all indications, Gina Carano seems ready to be the case study to test that notion out. After months of social media posts that have repeatedly been met with the trending hashtag #FireGinaCarano, the actress has responded via an interview on the YouTube channel Drunk 3PO. While people may be trying to get her fired for posts where she has expressed anti-mask, anti-vaccination, and transphobic sentiments, she seems fairly positive about the experience. She told the channel, “I’m going to stick around and if my presence bothers you, OK, but also a lot of people are not bothered by my Twitter presence or my social media presence. So I focus more on those people. I bring the fire out in people. I’m not sure why.”
Gina Carano is a former mixed martial arts fighter and now an actress. It would be hard to imagine someone successful in those careers is likely to ever back down from a fight. In Carano’s case, she often seems comfortable starting them. She may be taking the view that any publicity is good publicity. So far, her results would indicate this thinking isn’t far off. A month ago, she was the second most popular star on IMDB’s Star Meter. This page ranks actors based on how often their page is viewed. People paid a lot of attention to The Mandalorian star after the hashtag attempting to get her fired went trending on Twitter.
Whether becoming a controversial figure will pay off for her career in the long run is more questionable. The backlash against Gina Carano’s social media posts has, so far, raised awareness of her name. However, it also makes her a risky hire. She doesn’t work for an edgy company, either. She works for Disney. That’s a brand with a lot of attention on it already. At this point, the fire Carano brings out in people is already heating up. In the week since her interview on Drunk 3PO, evidence has emerged of her liking tweets in favor of the Capitol Riots. Disney released statements condemning the riots. In fact, they have since stopped donations in support of GOP lawmakers.
Much of the conversation around the riots consists of closer looks at how supporting the riots encouraged them to happen. In particular, how online activities led to the events. While companies have long taken serious looks at the public reputations of the actors and companies they work with, these events may force companies like Disney to be more exacting on what their own brands are associated with. That may not mean great things for social media posts from Gina Carano that “bring the fire out” in people. Especially when she has made clear she won’t apologize.
Currently, a rumor from WDW Pro at Pirates and Princesses claims executive producer Jon Favreau is protecting Gina Carano. It makes sense that of the many supporting the #FireGinaCarano movement, some would work at Lucasfilm. The rumor claims Favreau is using his own weight to shield the actress from consequences on set. If Carano stops posting controversial sentiments on social media, that may be enough. But as the fires surrounding her comments continue to grow, it’s hard to guess what she may say or do next, and what the consequences may be.