Is speaking out worth the trouble?

This week in cancel culture

Gina Carano, Justin Timberlake, Bruce Springsteen, RFK Jr, and Morgan Wallen are all under fire from cancel culture this week. Some rightfully so, others not so much.

The one most intriguing to me is the ongoing saga of Gina Carano. Partly because I’m a huge Star Wars fan (as I write this I just got back to the hotel from Galaxy’s Edge with two new lightsabers), but mostly because this was coming for months and Carano didn’t seem to care.

Hers is a story of the ongoing bias against those who have different views in Hollywood. People, including celebrities, are encouraged to speak out for causes they believe in. We are told that change never occurs when we stay silent. Carano believes it. She refused to stop talking despite daily threats, petitions and boycotts. Disney warned her. She didn’t listen. She spoke out.

I’m not defending her content. Some I wholeheartedly agreed with. Some I agreed with but thought was presented a bit too edgy. Some I disagreed with.

The real question — is speaking out worth it anymore when you have so much to lose? Carano wasn’t handed success. She worked her butt off for it grinding in the gym and literally fighting her way to the top of MMA. She became a star on one of television’s top shows in a franchise that would give her eternal fame. She was slated for her own show in the Star Wars universe.

You would think she would be celebrated for breaking stereotypes of what female actresses should look and act like. Instead she’s being cancelled. Even the Cara Dune action figure has been cancelled by Hasbro, so it would seem we’ve now transcended the screen and have begun cancelling the characters themselves.

But if those same ratios were applied to other actors and actresses, would they be cancelled? Just look through Twitter for the obvious answer. They would have been hailed as heroes, as Hollywood now has a monopoly on what is right and what is wrong. That’s not a partisan view.

Knowing that fact, what’s the point? Is it really worth losing everything you’ve fought for your entire life to prove a few points on social media that will be forgotten in a week? At this point, do you even know what Carano said to be cancelled? Did those points change anyone’s mind on anything?

She didn’t do anything special to be remembered. She was just one of billions of voices lost in a world of online clutter. She just ran her mouth like everyone else in this hyper partisan world.

If you have something to lose, there will always be someone with nothing to lose trying to take it from you. There are times when speaking out truly matters. Typically, daily online banter isn’t one of those times. Choose your time to speak wisely before having everything taken from you.

About the Author

Laurens Group

Laurens Group is a creative advocacy firm that leverages digital communication to engage, persuade, and activate.