AP

Ill-considered social media posts lead to lost jobs amid protests, crisis

Jun 4, 2020, 4:17 PM | Updated: 4:19 pm
social media posts...
This combination of photos shows logos for social media platforms Facebook and Twitter. Lost jobs over 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 backdrop of a pandemic have made Twitter, Instagram and Facebook especially dangerous for those who want to remain among the employed. (AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A writer from a “Law & Order” spin-off and the play-by-play broadcaster for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings found themselves out of jobs after making social media posts this week that their bosses found too incendiary or insensitive, highlighting an apparent surge in such firings across many lines of work.

Lost jobs over 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 backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic have made Twitter, Instagram and Facebook especially dangerous for those who want to remain among the employed.

With the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, who died after a police officer pinned his knee into his neck, even when he had become unresponsive, and the coronavirus that has killed over 100,000 and left others unemployed and many socially distant, feelings and emotions are strong. It can be difficult to resist the urge to post or tweet, even for people such as police officers, local officials or teachers who are bound to draw scrutiny.

“People when they see a breaking news story they get that rush of wanting to be a part of something,” said Danny Deraney, a publicist who often works in crisis management. “There’s an adrenaline. They feel like they’re saying something so profound. But they need to think before they tweet.”

Craig Gore, who has worked on the shows “S.W.A.T.” and “Chicago P.D.,” was fired Tuesday from the forthcoming “Law & Order: Organized Crime” spin-off because of Facebook posts. One was captioned “Curfew…” in which he’s shown holding a rifle on his front porch, and in another full of expletives, he threatens to shoot looters who come near his home.

Given the gravity of the moment, Gore’s boss, “Law & Order” franchise creator Dick Wolf, did not warn or suspend him but went straight to firing, saying in a statement, “I will not tolerate this conduct, especially during our hour of national grief.”

A lawyer for Gore did not respond to a request for comment.

Grant Napear, longtime TV announcer for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings was fired from his talk radio job and subsequently resigned Tuesday from the team’s broadcast crew after he tweeted “ALL LIVES MATTER” and more to former Kings player DeMarcus Cousins when asked his opinion on 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.” (Bonneville International is also the owner of KSL Newsradio.)

Napear later tweeted, “I’ve been doing more listening than talking the past few days,” and “I believe the past few days will change this country for the better!”

And social media-based firings are not just for the prominent.

Many others from public-facing institutions and businesses have been sanctioned, demoted, suspended or fired for impolitic statements online in recent days.

The principal trombonist from the Austin Symphony Orchestra was let go after a string of Facebook comments, including one in which she said black protesters “deserve what they get.”

The personal accounts of police are under especially tight scrutiny.

A Denver officer was fired Tuesday for writing “Let’s start a riot” as the caption to an Instagram picture of himself and two fellow officers smiling in riot gear. An officer in Fulton, New York, posted an Instagram image that read, “Black lives only matter to black people unless they are killed by a white person” and found himself out of a job.

The poor timing cited by the former bosses Gore and Napear can make posts that might otherwise pass unnoticed have major consequences, especially in a moment marked by a volatile combination of politics and race.

“If you’re in a situation like this, you’ve got to read the room,” Deraney said. You’ve got to get a sense of what’s going on. You don’t need to always say something. These people who are getting fired or resigning, they’re not realizing this.”
___
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton.

Today’s Top Stories

AP

In Iran, protests have led to violent clashes between citizens and security forces. Protesters pict...
The Associated Press

At least 9 killed as Iran protests over woman’s death spread

The scope of Iran's ongoing unrest, the worst in several years, still remains unclear as protesters in more than a dozen cities.
2 days ago
U.S. Capitol pictured. The House just voted on an election law...
MARY CLARE JALONICK Associated Press

House passes election law overhaul in response to Jan. 6

The bill, which is similar to bipartisan legislation moving through the Senate, would overhaul an arcane 1800s-era statute known as the Electoral Count Act
3 days ago
Trump pictured. A lawsuit against Trump was just filed in new york...
Associated Press

NY attorney general sues Donald Trump and his company

Attorney General Letitia James' lawsuit is the culmination of the Democrat's three-year civil investigation of Trump and the Trump Organization.
4 days ago
el helicoide caracas...
RODRIQUE NGOWI, GISELA SALOMON and CLAUDIA TORRENS Associated Press

Surprise is key part of migrant travel from Florida, Texas

EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) — The chief executive of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services was wrapping up work when she looked outside to see 48 strangers at her office with luggage, backpacks and red folders that included brochures for her organization. The Venezuelan migrants who were flown to the wealthy Massachusetts island from San Antonio on Wednesday […]
6 days ago
school classrooms...
Collin Binkley Associated Press

Reading, math scores fell sharply during pandemic, data show

WASHINGTON (AP) — Math and reading scores for America’s 9-year-olds fell dramatically during the first two years of the pandemic, according to a new federal study — offering an early glimpse of the sheer magnitude of the learning setbacks dealt to the nation’s children. Reading scores saw their largest decrease in 30 years, while math […]
10 days ago
FILE - Roger Federer of Switzerland waves to spectators as he leaves the court after he lost to Ale...
HOWARD FENDRICH ASSOCIATED PRESS

Roger Federer says he is retiring from professional tennis

(AP) — Roger Federer announced Thursday that he is retiring from professional tennis at age 41 after winning 20 Grand Slam titles. This decision comes just days after the end of the U.S. Open, which is expected to be the last tournament of 23-time major champion Serena Williams’ career, and signals the real end of […]
10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Ill-considered social media posts lead to lost jobs amid protests, crisis