This video gives a good summary and discussion of the issue. The tl;dr is that James Gunn (who directed the first two Guardians of the Galaxy flicks) got fired from Disney because conservatives created a fake outrage wave on social media feigning outrage over some crass, South-Park-esque tweets Gunn had made like a decade ago.
I've been critical in the past of the recent trend towards witchhunt-by-bandwagon that seems to be so pervasive in liberal circles. But the case of James Gunn shows that this blindness has much broader implications. As the YouTuber I linked above summarizes it,
- James Gunn got fired because someone didn't like that he used his platform to speak out against the Trump Administration and essentially "hacked the discourse" to hoodwink his employer into thinking they had no choice but to fire him.
Weaponizing outrage is nothing new, but it's getting more refined, both by more sophisticated social media strategies and by the fact that what currently passes for liberalism in the United States is more about virtue signaling than actually effecting meaningful change.
This will not be the last time this happens, and it's bizarre to me that so-called progressives are so eager to create such a massive chink in their own armor. Now that Disney has proven that this strategy works, anyone who's a high-profile critic of President Nadir has to start watching their backs that much more. And people are paying attention. For example, Rian Johnson preemptively deleted every tweet made before this year, and specifically said this was why:
- No official directive at all, and I don’t think I’ve ever tweeted anything that bad. But it’s nine years of stuff written largely off the cuff as ephemera, if trolls scrutinizing it for ammunition is the new normal, this seems like a “why not?” move.
All this is doing is telling people that there's no reason to change, because the consequences will be the same either way. Meanwhile, having an Internet where you have to run everything you say through 100 layers of checks to make sure that there's nothing that would offend someone now or a decade from now will do more to curb free expression online than the demise of Net Neutrality ever could.