LOS ANGELES (AP) – A writer of a “Law & Order” spin-off and the play-by-play broadcaster for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings got fired after creating social media posts this week that charged their bosses too flammable or insensitive, highlighting an apparent wave of such layoffs in many lines of action.
Lost jobs through social media statements that seemed like a good idea at the time have become a common occurrence, but the tense environment of nationwide protests against racism and police brutality with the background of the coronavirus pandemic has made Twitter, Instagram and Facebook particularly dangerous for those who want to stay among the workers.
With the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, who died after a police officer stabbed his knee in the neck even when he became unresponsive, and the corona virus that killed over 100,000 people and left others unemployed and much socially distant, feelings and emotions strong. It can be hard to resist the urge to post or tweet, even for people like policemen, local officials, or teachers who will no doubt be critical.
“People who see a breaking news story get the thrill of wanting to be part of something,” said Danny Deraney, a publicist who often works in crisis management. “It contains adrenaline. They feel like they are saying something so profound. But they have to think before tweeting. ‘
Craig Gore, who contributed to the shows “S.W.A.T.” and “Chicago P.D.” was fired from the upcoming “Law & Order: Organized Crime” spinoff on Tuesday due to Facebook posts. One was titled “Curfew …” in which he sees a gun on his porch, and in another full of force he threatens to shoot looters near his house.
Given the seriousness of the moment, Gore’s boss, “Law & Order” franchisee Dick Wolf, did not warn or suspend him, but immediately said in a statement, “I will not tolerate this behavior, especially during our hour of national grief. “
A Gore lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.
Grant Napear, former TV presenter for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, was fired for his talk radio job and resigned from the team’s broadcast team on Tuesday after posting “ALL LIVES MATTER” and more to former Kings player DeMarcus Cousins Had tweeted when asked about his opinion of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Bonneville International, owner of the radio station that fired Napear, said in a statement, “The timing of Grant’s tweet was particularly insensitive.”
Napear later tweeted, “I’ve listened more than I’ve talked the past few days,” and “I believe the past few days will change this country for the better!”
And layoffs on social media aren’t just for prominent people.
Many others from public institutions and companies have been sanctioned, demoted, suspended or fired online for the past few days for impolitical statements.
The Austin Symphony Orchestra’s principal trombonist was released after a series of Facebook comments, including one saying that black protesters “deserve what they get.”
The police’s personal accounts are subject to very strict controls.
A Denver cop was fired on Tuesday for writing “Let’s start a riot” captioned an Instagram photo of herself and two fellow agents smiling in riot gear. An officer in Fulton, New York, posted an Instagram image that read, “Black lives are only important to black people unless they are killed by a white one” and noticed he was out of a job.
The bad timing mentioned by former bosses Gore and Napear can post messages that would otherwise go unnoticed, and has major consequences, especially at a time characterized by a fleeting combination of politics and race.
“If you find yourself in such a situation, you should read the room,” said Deraney. You need to get an idea of what’s going on. You don’t always have to say something. These people who are fired or resigned do not realize this. ‘
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton.
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