On Thursday morning, Daniella Greenbaum resigned from her position as a columnist for Business Insider after the paper pulled her op-ed defending actress Scarlett Johansson’s decision to play a “transgender man” in the upcoming film “Rub and Tug.” According to Greenbaum, a Social Justice Warrior (SJW) campaign inside Business Insider successfully stifled her “controversial” opinion in a Leftist mob action.
Johansson has taken flak for agreeing to play a “transgender man,” i.e. a biological woman who identifies as a man. Transgender actors have complained, arguing that one of them should get the role instead.
On July 6th, Greenbaum published an op-ed defending Johansson for agreeing to act. “The actress is being chastised for, well, acting,” Greenbaum wrote (the article, removed from Business Insider, is available here at The Weekly Standard).
“She has been cast in a movie in which she will play someone different than herself. For this great crime — which seems to essentially define the career path she has chosen—she is being castigated for being insufficiently sensitive to the transgender community,” Greenbaum explained.
Transgender activists argued that Johansson was “stealing narratives,” but the columnist noted that playing parts “is precisely what actors are hired to do.” As Greenbaum controversially explained, “the job of an actor is to represent someone else.”
In an email to Nicholas Carlson, Business Insider’s global editor-in-chief, Greenbaum recounted her story and tendered her resignation.
“Can an actor act?” she asked, noting, “that is the question I wanted to weigh in on. … My judgment: Yes. A woman can play a man or a trans man.”
Greenbaum noted that her opinion was published on Friday, July 6th. “Apparently, that radical view — that actors should be free to act — is beyond the pale of acceptable opinion, as just a few hours after it went up, the piece was erased from the site following a campaign against me.”
The columnist then went on to list over views some might consider “controversial.”
I believe, for example, “safe spaces” are an inane concept that belong nowhere near our institutions of higher learning. …
I believe that Hamas — not Israel — is the worst enemy thePalestinian people have.
I believe that members of the gang MS 13 are are animals, and that there’s nothing wrong with saying so.
I believe that accusations of “cultural appropriation” encourage divisions instead of bridging them.
These broadly conservative views, like the idea that an actress like Scarlett Johansson can play a character other than herself, have been defined as “beyond the pale” by SJW mobs.
Greenbaum confided, “I have enjoyed the few months I have worked here and I am really disheartened about what has transpired in the past few days. I wish I could say I am surprised.”
While the erasing of one opinion piece might be forgiven, Greenbaum argued that this was part of a larger trend of SJW mobs silencing mainstream opinions.
“Unfortunately, what happened with my piece — the tarring of a commonsense view as somehow bigoted or not thought out; the capitulation on the part of those who are supposed to be the adults to the mob — is a pattern happening all over the country within institutions that pride themselves on open-mindedness and liberalism,” she lamented.
For this reason, Greenbaum resigned from her position as a columnist.
Similar stories of SJWs pushing for political correctness by targeting conservatives are all too familiar.
The Atlantic quickly terminated Kevin D. Williamson after hiring him, due to a controversial opinion Williamson had voiced long beforehand. Even that magazine’s Conor Friedersdorf persuasively argued that was a misstep.
In February, Google former senior software engineer James Damore told PJ Media that Google leftists are digging through a conservative mailing list to get people fired. A recent survey found widespread fear amongst conservative employees in Silicon Valley that they might face termination if their views became known.
Read her full email below.
I believe female actors can play men and trans men. That is the apparently controversial view that inspired BI to take down my piece. I have resigned from @businessinsider and explain why in my letter to EIC @nichcarlson pic.twitter.com/5G2UZggXi9
— Daniella Greenbaum Davis (@DGreenbaum) July 12, 2018