Censorship in the Media – Conservative Article
Debates surrounding freedom of speech regularly circulate in the media. Where the line between free speech and hate speech should be placed is often in question, with the line commonly blurred. In the age of social media, where anyone can share their views at any time, this question has only become more complicated. The usual answer to this problem – which is used far too often – is censorship.
Censorship is not a new concept in the media. The Nazi regime thrived through the censorship of what they deemed to be obscene works, in a variety of art forms. Censorship existed long before that too. We are living in an age now, however, where censorship does not just exist in the printing press, or even in the removal of tweets; figures are losing their jobs just for expressing their views, or even worse, being sent to jail.
Gina Carano, an actress most known for The Mandalorian, was recently fired from the series due to her expression of political views on social media. Carano likened the treatment of Republicans to the way in which the Nazis treated Jews in Germany. I know that this summary may seem absurd to a lot of readers. I myself do not even fully agree with what she wrote. But it is important to unpack the entire post to fully grasp what Carano is actually saying.
Carano wrote in a TikTok post that “Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbours… even by children. Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbours hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views”.
Now, it might seem hypocritical of me to be defending Carano’s post seeing as I wrote an entire article on the overuse of the word ‘Nazi’ and the trivialisation of the Holocaust. However, Carano is not simply saying that Republicans are being treated in exactly the same way that Jews were treated by Nazis. She is highlighting the danger of neighbours turning against one another and where it can lead. The Nazi regime did not begin with concentration camps. It was slow. It was progressive. It began by turning people against one another, through censorship.
The term ‘Nazi’ is certainly overused in the media, and Carano is no exception. Although, does that require her to lose her job?
For years, the left in America has used the word ‘Nazi’ to describe Donald Trump. The word practically became a part of the CNN vocabulary! They never lost their jobs. They were never censored. What is the difference?
It is not just the right that is affected by censorship. Pablo Hasel, a far-left Spanish rapper has fallen victim to the dangers of censorship. Hasel has been sentenced to nine months in jail for a series of tweets and song lyrics that are anti-monarchy and critical of the police. As a result, thousands of people have been protesting in Catalonia, defending the artist’s right to freedom of speech.
Hasel has tweeted and written lyrics specifically about police brutality towards migrants in Spain. He has also questioned the monarchy. These are things that anyone should be able to do openly. In charging the rapper for these lyrics, self-censorship is promoted further. Artists are scared to discuss their political views due to the threat of going to jail for doing so. Why should anyone be frightened to express their political views? Why should anyone fear going to jail for practising their right to freedom of speech?
Amnesty International tweeted “Pablo Hasel’s imprisonment is an excessive and disproportionate restriction of his freedom of expression, but he is not alone in suffering the consequences of unjust laws”. Freedom of expression is a right. It is shocking that there is such little respect for it in the present day.
Censorship does not benefit anyone. It has negatively impacted both sides of the political spectrum and is rife across the world. It contributes to an echo chamber of political views, limiting people from thinking critically. It seems rather ironic that in criticising censorship, Carano herself has been silenced. Does she not prove a point?
Written by Junior Conservative Writer, Rebecca Selt
Point of Information
Gina Carano was fired because of capitalism – A Labour Response
I agree with your opening statements. But… Gina Carano wasn’t fired because she used the word, ‘Nazi’ as you claim. Or for ‘criticising censorship’. She was fired because she was comparing the ‘persecution’ of Republicans with the Jewish communities living under the oppressive Nazi regime. Does this require further explanation? I mean…come on.
Your issue with political pundits on CNN calling Trump a Nazi and not being fired for it, is not a feasible comparison or example of inequity when ‘compared’ with Gina Carano’s situation, because she was not fired for using the word ‘Nazi’ but for likening being a conservative to the experience of being Jewish in Nazi Germany. And this came after a long list of problematic tweets; transphobia, election fraud, anti-mask, I could go on. These kinds of ideas cause material harm to these minority groups directly (and indirectly).
When you take an actor from a very successful TV show like The Mandalorian, who has a substantial Twitter following, and they contribute to the circulation of harmful ideas… It is not surprising they are removed from the position that had granted them influence in the first place. But, not for the reasons one might think.
I posit that the Disney execs don’t really care about the problematic nature of Carano’s tweets or their implications or even the people who they targeted. Disney is a private corporation, it can do what it likes, but if the views of Gina Carano threaten the value of the Mandalorian franchise or reduce its fanbase, is it really surprising they fired her?
They don’t look at Gina Carano as a valuable asset anymore because simply put, her views are turning more people away from the show than bringing in. She is making their product less attractive to consumers, and thus less valuable. It was therefore inevitable that she would be fired (when looking at it through this capitalistic lens).
What is censorship? You use the Nazi regime to represent the extreme end of State censorship and I couldn’t agree more. But then you use Gina Carano to exemplify that State censorship, like that of the Nazi regime, is still happening. This is crazy. Obviously, Gina Carano can’t seriously be used to exemplify the very serious reality of censorship. She’s still very active on Twitter to her 900,000 followers, has garnered a lot of support from the right, has a film deal with Ben Shapiro, etc.
This is not censorship. Far from it.
You then go on to use Pablo Hasel to show that no one is safe from censorship which I commend! This, here, is a fantastic example of censorship which is genuinely a cause for concern and should demand our attention.
You might be thinking, Aha! You’re clearly displaying your political bias, George. But censorship that is genuinely terrifying is when people speak out against those in power and are reprimanded for it. We should be cultivating a safe space for people to criticise existing power structures. To be as scathing as they want (or appraising) without the threat of losing their job or worse, being thrown in jail, as Rebecca has shown!
Written by Guest Labour Writer, George Stroud
Nothing of note to add – A Liberal Response
Sometimes you write a response and there is nothing of note to add. George and Rebecca have written very interesting topics, but all I’m going to say is nothing special.
Carano should have been fired. Not only did I find her performance just so lacking that a tall mop would have performed a more caring portrayal, but the comparison is just something that makes me want to bang my head against the table.
I am tired. I am tired of us hiding behind this excuse that stops us from actually tackling the problem. The line isn’t blurry, it is pretty clear. Both these cases are clear. If you don’t know the line, read what it should be. Read Locke or someone just as politically interesting when discussing these topics.
Social media is being used at a scary rate to bring racism back. End of discussion. If we do nothing and do not actually start censoring to some sort of degree, we will be left with a world that will continue to become more divided and left with a government that will actually censor things that should not be censored.
Written by Senior Liberal Writer, Max Anderson
I am a third year student studying English and Film Studies at the University of Exeter. After completing my degree, I will be converting to law to begin my journey of becoming a commercial lawyer. As an avid reader of the Financial Times, I have begun to understand how important the commercial market is in forming global politics.
I am currently in my second year of reading Politics at the University of Exeter. My first interaction with politics was at the tender age of four years old.