Rantz: Seattle theater manager disciplined for celebrating murder of Everett officer?

Mar 29, 2022, 6:00 PM | Updated: Mar 30, 2022, 6:21 am
Regal Cinemas Stadium 14 (Flickr Creative Commons)...
Regal Cinemas Stadium 14 (Flickr Creative Commons)
(Flickr Creative Commons)

An assistant manager at a Regal theater in Seattle may have been disciplined, and possibly fired, because of tweets celebrating the death of Everett officer Dan Rocha.

In a series of disturbing tweets, the Regal assistant manager — Nick — said “many more” cops should be killed. He said he wouldn’t show “remorse for a pig. Streets are cleaner with less cops on them!”

Nick tweeted the loathsome messages hours after the news broke. And his employer Regal Theaters responded quickly. They said they have “zero tolerance” for the language and implied Nick was to be disciplined.

This incident brings up questions worth exploring. Was this an example of cancel culture run amuck or an anti-police misanthrope suffering the consequences of his deplorable speech?

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The disgusting tweets

Most people understand the death of Rocha is a tragedy — that the community, the state, and a family lost a good officer who signed up to serve and protect.

But on Twitter, the worst of the worst come out of the woodwork. They use the anonymity offered by the platform to spew their hateful rhetoric.

Nick responded to my tweet with the news of Rocha’s death. I often see trolls on my Twitter feed and I usually ignore them. On this one, I had to engage.

I asked Nick if he really wants to celebrate the murder of a cop. Apparently, he did. I told him that it was a mistake to do that on Twitter, but he didn’t think so.

I was right.

Ghoul deletes the wrong tweets

Nick shared a lot of information about himself on his Twitter feed. It included a selfie he took that afternoon while he was at work.

It had his name tag showing his full name and the logo of the Regal Movie Theater where he worked. He even tweeted out the location.

Soon, he realized he overshared. And he started to delete tweets, though not the offensive ones that should never have been posted to begin with. He was deleting tweets explaining where he worked.

But people had already seen them, and they responded by tagging Regal Theaters, asking if they were comfortable with him as an employee.

Regal Theater responded

The brand account manager from Regal Theaters saw the many people calling out Nick’s comments and they chose to respond.

At first, they offered a short statement unconditionally condemning the comments and explaining they have a zero-tolerance policy on this kind of commentary. They said, “we are handling accordingly.”

But more people continued to call out the commentary and reach out to Regal. The Post Millennial ran a story about the comments, which further called attention to Nick’s odious opinion.

Soon, Regal Theaters released a longer statement. They said they have a “long history of working with law enforcement and we value all they do for our communities.” They offered their “heartfelt sympathies” to Rocha’s family and friends. Though they can’t comment on employment matters directly, they said the “comments made are not in line with our corporate values” and that “we can say that we have zero-tolerance in this matter.”

It sounds like they fired him.

Is this cancel culture?

The New York Times editorial board recently published a piece pushing back against cancel culture and fighting for the spirit of the first amendment. The board, rightly, believes that we should tolerate views, not suppress them. The paper has had instances of people losing their jobs –being pushed out — for holding mainstream views that went against the far-left orthodoxy of some staff in the organization.

The progressive activists who hate conflicting views were as mad as you’d expect, effectively saying it’s not “cancel culture” to shame people with “wrong” opinions. They said it’s the consequence of living in a world where you should pay the price for certain ideas.

Nick’s tweets are beyond wrong: they’re a vile reflection of a bad person who doesn’t merely lack sympathy but devalues human life. I’m willing to bet he almost certainly never even had a bad interaction with a cop. He’s been taught to hate the police as a means to signal his virtue to woke activists. We have plenty of them in our area.

Should Nick be fired?

As a conservative, should I want Nick to get fired for protected speech?

The honest answer is no: he obviously has a right to be a garbage human being. After all, there’s nothing he said that is illegal to utter. But I also don’t have to feel bad for him getting dragged, especially since he had ample opportunity to rethink his horrible position that he chose three times to publically utter.

Regal Theaters, in whatever they decided, said it doesn’t want to be associated with such a hateful and fringe position — one well outside the mainstream of the American public, even if it is shared by many Black Lives Matter activists and all of Antifa.

That Nick was on Twitter associating himself with the brand is what put him in a bad spot. It’s reasonable to question why a business would employ such a bad person, the same way we would question them if an employee was using the N-word on Twitter to attack black people.

Is this cancel culture? No. It’s a rotten soul who was possibly disciplined for celebrating a cop’s death. This isn’t merely a difference of opinion on a matter of policy or community interest. This was a significant cultural conflict with an employer.

Now what?

I certainly hope Nick matures and sees the nature of his remarks.

I don’t want him fired but I obviously want him to be less soulless. He can hold whatever view he wants on policing. Policy disagreements are fair game and even if I disagree with his positions, I certainly understand people can and do hold different positions than I do. I have no problem with them making their case, even when I think the views can lead to dangerous outcomes. But celebrating an innocent cop’s death? It’s reprehensible and is an objectively wrong view to hold.

I also hope this is a wake-up call that even woke progressives can and will be held to account for their hateful takes. Even though Nick feels comfortable celebrating the death of cops, perhaps because the echo chamber he lives in holds the same views, it’s not something the rest of the country supports. Maybe they’ll realize that.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3–6 pm on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz  on  Twitter,  Instagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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Rantz: Seattle theater manager disciplined for celebrating murder of Everett officer?