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The true test of whether one is against annulling culture comes when the insidious practice breaks down a victim with views you detest.
Last week, New York City-based actress Jacqueline Guzman TikToked released a really stupid and vulgar video in which she complained that the streets were closed down for the funeral of the slain NYPD officer Jason Rivera. Even after deleting the video, Guzman was fired from the film and theater company where she worked. It is not acceptable in a free society.
NYC ACTOR LOVED AFTER JASON RIVERA FUNERAL: STREETS CLOSED ‘FOR A F —— COP’
In a statement, the company had this to say about the incident. “Face-to-face movies do not support and can not tolerate these comments about the fallen officer Rivera. As a result, she has [Guzman] is no longer a member of our company. ”
Is that the standard now? If an employee says something their company can not tolerate, are they fired?
This is not even a situation where Guzman’s statements fall very far from those of prominent Democrats and media figures. New York City Councilwoman Kristin Richardson Jordan openly equated the loss of Officer Rivera with the loss of his killer.
New York Magazine in a snarky section called this statement by Mayor Eric Adams a “dubious joke;” Every day when I see New Yorkers, they say they thank the men and women of the New York City Police Department. “Below was the line. “Every day?” With a questionable looking emoji.
So let’s not pretend that anti-police rhetoric is a kind of fringe position on the American left. If we fired everyone who wants to defuse the police, there would be no colleges.
FALLEN NYPD OFFICER JASON RIVERA HONORED WITH MILE LONG PROCESSION, HAPPENS HUNDREDS TO ST. PATRICKS CATHEDRAL
What makes the firing even worse is that Face To Face Films is reportedly an artistic endeavor. Politicizing the speech of artists is always, as every time, a facet of fascism, not the practice of a functioning free society.
There will be those on the right who say, “Hey, those are the new rules we have not invented on them.” But it is ultimately self-destructive. If people want to feel some joy over the irony, injury joy, as the Germans put it, by firing a progressive to say something stupid, that’s fine. But that does not make the decision right.
The culture of cancellation has created a whole set of perverted incentives for small businesses like Face to Face and big ones like Disney. In most cases, they no longer respond to a broad demand to punish those who say bad things. Instead, they proactively display their virtue. It’s an ad.
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The result is not a corporate and artistic landscape in which the American people influence the product and speech, but rather one in which gatekeepers decide what Americans must see and hear.
Jacqueline Guzman said something stupid, she should not have said it and certainly should not have broadcast it. But this is still the United States. This is still the country where one can say unpopular things. At least it should be.
Private companies like Face to Face can do as they please, the first amendment does not apply to them as a law. But we must certainly hope that this applies in principle. American companies should be American companies, and yes, that means they should not tell their employees what political views they are and must not support.
Freedom of expression, especially in light of the damaging censorship of solid science caused by COVID, is front and center of our policy. As it should be.
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In the pursuit of that freedom, we must not be distracted by extreme attitudes, no matter how annoying they are.
Cancellation culture is a cancellation culture, no matter which side does it, and it must always be counteracted.
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