Actor and former MMA fighter Gina Carano is suing the Walt Disney Co. and Lucasfilm over her 2021 firing from The Mandalorian with support from Elon Musk and the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
Carano portrayed rebel warrior Cara Dune on the first two seasons of the Star Wars spinoff show. But after expressing controversial views online, followed by public outrage and an online campaign to #FireGinaCarano, the actor was dropped from the show and by her talent agency UTA.
In the months leading up to her firing, Carano stirred controversy by mocking people who wore masks during the pandemic, suggested there was voter fraud during the 2020 U.S. presidential election and appeared to mock transgender people by putting “beep/bop/boop” in her X profile as if they were preferred gender pronouns.
Just before she was fired, Carano appeared to suggest that modern-day conservatives are treated similarly to Jews living in Nazi Germany.
“Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors…even by children,” the post said. “Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views?”
Gina Carano dropped from ‘The Mandalorian’ over Holocaust comment
Carano was fired shortly after. A Lucasfilm spokesperson stated that the actor’s “social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable.”
In a lawsuit filed in federal court in California Tuesday, Carano’s lawyers argue she was wrongfully terminated because she “dared voice her own opinions” against an “online bully mob who demanded her compliance with their extreme progressive ideology.”
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“A short time ago in a galaxy not so far away, Defendants made it clear that only one orthodoxy in thought, speech, or action was acceptable in their empire, and that those who dared to question or failed to fully comply would not be tolerated,” the lawsuit opens. “Carano was terminated from her role as swiftly as her character’s peaceful home planet of Alderaan had been destroyed by the Death Star.”
Carano is seeking damages to be determined at trial and a court order that she be recast on the show.
In a social media post announcing the lawsuit, Carano revealed that Musk and X, the social media company he purchased, will be helping cover the costs of her legal action.
“A couple months ago Elon Musk tweeted that if you had been fired from using the platform (X) for exercising your right to free speech, he would like to offer these people legal representation,” Carano wrote. “Quite the noble offer, but never in my wildest dreams would I have thought anyone would take on my case against Lucasfilm/Disney.
“To my surprise, a few months ago I received an email from a lawyer who had been hired by X to look into my story & many others. Turns out after sending them as much information as I could gather these past few months, my now lawyers & X believe whole-heartedly in my case & are moving forward.
“I would like to express my deepest gratitude & thank you to Elon Musk & X for giving me an opportunity to bring my case to light.”
Carano maintains in the post that she was wrongfully vilified and had her words “twisted” against her.
“The truth is I was being hunted down from everything I posted to every post I liked because I was not in line with the acceptable narrative of the time. My words were consistently twisted to demonize & dehumanize me as an alt right wing extremist. It was a bullying smear campaign aimed at silencing, destroying & making an example out of me,” she wrote.
“Look with your own eyes at what I posted and ask yourself, for example, where did I compare Republicans to the Jewish people in the holocaust? I didn’t. Ask yourself why they were calling me a racist, was there any merit behind that or history of it whatsoever? No. Look at why I was called a transphobe–for making droid noises from Star Wars? ‘Beep, bop, boop’ was obviously directed to the online bullies and did not in any way denigrate transgender people. Were my questions about masks, lockdowns & forced vaccines ok to ask & push the subject into the light? Should we have been allowed to publicly discuss those topics at that time without being harassed or censored? Absolutely.”
Musk reposted Carano’s message and issued a call-out to anyone who wanted to join the lawsuit against Disney.
Disney and Lucasfilm have not filed a response to the lawsuit, nor made a public statement.
The lawsuit says Lucasfilm also hurt Carano’s future work prospects by making “maliciously false” statements about her.
The lawsuit adds that Carano willingly took part in Zoom meetings with leaders of LGBTQ2 groups at the company’s behest with “very positive” results, but that Lucasfilm demanded a public apology in which she admitted “to mocking or insulting an entire group of people, which Carano had never done” and subjected her to other harassment over the issue.
— With files from The Associated Press
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