• Jen Robbins

Oh, Canada.

I love a good social media mic drop, which is why I screenshot this absolutely WILD slam tweet:

I posted it on my personal Facebook with the caption: "heh". (I have a way with words.)


I woke up this morning to two messages advising me that Mark Donnelly has several children to feed, and that he may be struggling financially. It's not my intention to make light of this kind of situation.


So, first of all, I assumed that he was partaking in this rally out of the passion he holds for the movement. I didn't realize these groups had funds to pay performers (and I sure wonder how much they're getting paid).


I was taken by this post because of my affinity for exceptional use of social media channels, but true enough I didn't consider the feelings of the person under attack. So no, I don't want to mock the fact that someone's livelihood was destroyed based on their decision that may have been financially motivated during these times. For sure.


And while Mark Donnelly is a public figure, I'm sure he doesn't have a massive PR team or manager that will advise him that the negative fallout isn't worth the income from this rally. But I don't want to sound condescending - when you make a living as a performer, you have likely learned a little bit about how the entertainment industry works. Then again, as much as I would like to think that I'd hold to my values, if my own family were struggling and my options were severely limited - I can't say what I would and wouldn't agree to.


I'm also not a huge believer in cancel culture. Humans need to learn, grow and be given a chance to address their beliefs and growth - but that's an entire post on its own.


Now is it right for the Canucks to fire him over an "opinion"? Um, yes. Companies, especially entertainment companies, need to align themselves with images that promote their values and how they want to be perceived. Wearing a mask during a pandemic isn't an opinion. We are in a public health crisis. I'm going to guess if he was under contract, there was a clause for this. If he was a regular full-time employee working in accounting - there would be a different conversation happening.


But when you lend your support and face to a cause, and one that is currently so divisive, you have to look around and think, who am I damaging? How strongly do I feel about this? If your current major client is a massive sports team, you may want to check in with your guy there.


Wearing masks is a public health issue. As a public figure, even if you are getting paid and that's your motivation, you are supporting this movement and linking all your other clients to this movement. Your presence at this event is meant to draw more people to the cause. If someone is a spokesperson for Burger King, we can expect that they eat and enjoy Burger King.


I've since learned a little more about this situation. It's a bit gross that he found out of his dismissal just like the rest of us. Like I said, I appreciate the absolute zero tolerance and ferocity of the response from the Canucks, but even in this circumstance someone should have picked up the phone to contact him and not left it to social media (in which he isn't active).


Secondly it does appear that this is something that he believes he is "standing up for what's right", as heard in this clip. (Thanks Rebbekka!) He states that he willingly understood that this outcome could be a consequence.


This may all turn out well for him, there's ample opportunity to become an anti-masker ally and of course, martyr for the cause. Hope he lands on his feet for his family's sake.

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