Gina Carano lost her job with Disney after controversial social media posts, but Letitia Wright did not. Disney and Lucasfilm severed ties with the former Mandalorian star while Disney and Marvel retain the new Black Panther. Is this a huge case of double-standards or is there more to the story?
Back in December 2020, Letitia Wright shared with her over 360,000 Twitter followers an hour-long YouTube video from On the Table, a popular discussion channel, in which host Tomi Arayomi spoke his thoughts on the dangers of vaccines. During the discussion, Arayomi remarked that he doesn’t know if he can trust vaccines while also admitting he doesn’t understand them. “I don’t understand vaccines medically, but I’ve always been a little bit of a skeptic of them,” the host said. At one point Arayomi even made the comment that the people who decide to get vaccinated should “hope to God it doesn’t make extra limbs grow.” The backlash which came to Wright’s door was immediate.
One follower blasted Wright, telling the Black Panther star that she is using her huge platform to spread misinformation.
Even Avengers star Don Cheadle got into the act after he rolled up on Wright’s video post. “Jesus… just scrolled through. hot garbage. every time i stopped and listened, he and everything he said sounded crazy and fkkkd up,” Cheadle tweeted via CBS News. “I would never defend anybody posting this. but i still won’t throw her away over it. the rest i’ll take off twitter. had no idea.”
Letitia Wright decided that she was going to engage with her enraged followers, much like Carano did with hers. She started by saying she was just asking questions about vaccines and then informed her detractors, “Just using my own mind to think – which I’m free to do.” But the criticism continued without mercy, which forced Wright to respond again, “if you don’t conform to popular opinions. but ask questions and think for yourself….you get cancelled.” Eventually, Wright pulled the video from her Twitter account but never offered an apology. She did say this though, “my intention was not to hurt anyone, my ONLY intention of posting the video was it raised my concerns with what the vaccine contains and what we are putting in our bodies. Nothing else.” So, the question remains: why is Letitia Wright still employed by Disney and Carano, who also posted inflammatory opinions while also engaging and debating with followers much like Wright, out of a job?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Letitia Wright toed the line. Gina Carano tried to rewrite the line. Letitia Wright finally listened to what her employer was saying, Gina Carano listens to no one but herself. Letitia Wright deleted her Twitter account, vastly subduing her social media presence. Gina Carano continued and continues on at warp speed.
When Letitia Wright began to engage with her followers following her anti-vax video post, Disney made the decision at the time to let things run their course. If you recall, another Disney employee, Mulan star Liu Yifei, also caused a bit of a social media dust-up when in August 2019 Liu offered her support of the Hong Kong police during the Chinese government’s dealing with pro-democracy protests. Disney allowed that situation to handle itself, which it eventually did.
The questions are simple, but the answers can be difficult to pin down. How far are you willing to take things for what you believe? Is employment, or lack thereof, enough to dissuade someone from stepping across the line? Letitia Wright, and to that matter Liu Yifei, decided backing away from the controversy would be in their best interest, regardless of their ultimate beliefs or thoughts. Carano, on the other hand, continued to make controversial posts.
When Carano was finally able to make some sense of her firing, she penned a message to Bari Weiss, a former New York Times columnist, saying about the post that was her undoing, “I was in utter shock and confusion when certain people said it was anti-Semitic,” Carano wrote. “Then, as I went to take it down, I noticed that the image was not the same as the one people were referencing. I was honestly confused: Should I take it down, or leave it up? I still don’t know the answer to that question, because taking it down only makes the mob attack you more.” Ultimately, Carano did delete the black-and-white picture showing a woman fleeing from attackers in the street. Carano took the time to explain to Weiss the meaning of her post, “The image for me was a statement that people need to stand together and rise up, stop being so manipulated by the powers that believe they know what’s best for you and play games with our lives,” Carano said. “My heart has only ever had ultimate respect and love for the Jewish community.”
Letitia Wright realized that continuing to publicly showcase her controversial opinions was a threat to her job and made the decision to stop. Gina Carano did not.