Whether it’s an influencer, someone in the political sphere, or an entertainer, there is something they all have in common, their words and how they use them.
I notice a lot of things as I surf the web and post on social media, and there are a lot of times people with large platforms have said things in ways they shouldn’t have or things they should not have said at all.
Many would point fingers and argue “free speech”, and others would argue that policing speech is a good thing. I will not argue about either one of those here, but how words can carry weight and how those in the limelight need to weigh their words carefully.
The most recent example of this is Gina Carano and her words online. She has a history of controversial posts online, posts that garnered a lot of attention, both supportive and negative.
The last post, of which a breakdown can be found here, was not a case of whether she could have. She did after all. It was a question of whether she SHOULD have.
You see, it’s not about tone policing in this case. It’s not a matter of free speech either. It’s a matter of representing a brand and being a problem to that brand.
Gina hails from the MMA circuit, a circuit filled with larger-than-life personalities with devil-may-care attitudes and ways of expressing themselves.
That attitude is fine for fighting clubs and circuits. It is not fine for a massive corporations like Disney. (Yes, I am aware of the China thing. I am currently trying to figure out how to word a script for a video on it.)
She couldn’t adapt.
Knowing the reputation of Disney and how it is morphing into an all-encompassing identarian corporation, it’s no surprise they discharged her. Her political affiliation aside, they could not have anyone on their payroll who passes along conspiracy theories and compares, however misunderstood, anything having to do with the Holocaust when you are signed with a label known for being “family friendly”.
When you represent a brand, there is a code of conduct by which you must abide. This is true for any company for whom you work. There is a certain façade they wish for you to show.
When you don’t project that façade, they let you go.
Words and Weight…
When you are in a position where the masses “hang on your every word”, you must weigh what you say carefully. You cannot act irresponsibly. You cannot say things you know are inflammatory and then claim innocence when the shit hits the fan. You must acknowledge your part in it, whether you stressed not to act or left that part out of your wording.
Not Responsible for Others’ Actions…
“The only thing you can control are your own actions.” -Me.
Though there is a lot of truth in it, one cannot dismiss that there will be people who will put the famous and well-known figures on pedestals to god-like proportions and attack anyone who goes against their idol.
No matter how much you stress not to attack others, you will always have those who follow you that will do it anyway, and if you worded things in an inflammatory manner, you need to reflect on that and own what little part you may have had in what the fallout may be. You are not completely innocent.
I was going to title this portion “The Young and Impressionable”, but that would be inaccurate. There are adults that allow themselves to be easily influenced as well, leading them to do things they would not normally do. These are the ones of whom I am referring.
When you repeat the same messages to those whom follow you again and again, they will begin to believe everything you say. When they blindly believe your words, they will become dangerous and unpredictable in their actions as well.
It’s not the critical thinking of whom you need to worry. It’s those who place you on a god-like pedestal that are dangerous.
I have rambled on enough for the day.
Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk. 😉
Anissa “Maddy” Walker.