Gina Carano Sues Disney Over ‘The Mandalorian’ Firing With Funding by Elon Musk

Gina Carano Sues Disney Over ‘The Mandalorian’ Firing With Funding by Elon Musk
Actress Gina Carano arrives at Relativity Media's premiere of "Haywire" co-hosted by Playboy held at DGA Theater in Los Angeles, Calif., on Jan. 5, 2012. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Relativity Media)
Matt McGregor
2/6/2024
Updated:
2/6/2024
0:00

Actress Gina Carano, former star of “The Mandalorian,” has filed a lawsuit in California federal court against Lucasfilm and the Walt Disney Company, alleging discrimination over her political views.

The lawsuit is now being financially supported by Elon Musk’s X Corp.

“As a sign of X Corp’s commitment to free speech, we’re proud to provide financial support for Gina Carano’s lawsuit, empowering her to seek vindication of her free speech rights on X and the ability to work without bullying, harassment, or discrimination,” the company posted on X.

In 2021, Lucasfilm, now a subsidiary of Disney, fired Ms. Carano for a post she made on social media. Her law firm, Schaerr Jaffe, described the firing as “discriminatory treatment and termination” after a period of “harassment and bullying.”

“This is a civil action arising from the Defendants’ wrongful termination of Carano’s employment in retaliation for Carano’s lawful exercise of her right to speak and express her views,” the law firm said in a press release on the complaint. “Carano was defamed when Defendants publicly mischaracterized her social media posts and her character, resulting in the loss of her agent and attorney as well as future employment opportunities.”

Upon filing the lawsuit, Ms. Carano posted a statement on X in which she emphasized its significance and recalled Lucasfilm’s public statement on her firing.

“After my 20 years of building a career from scratch, and during the regime of former Disney CEO Bob Chapek, Lucasfilm made this statement on Twitter, terminating me from The Mandalorian: ‘Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm & there are no plans for her to be in the future. Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural & religious identities are abhorrent & unacceptable.’”

Ms. Carano said she was “hunted down” because she would not go along with the narrative and faced excessive monitoring of her posts.

In her 2021 post, she said, “Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors … even by children. 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.”
The post was later deleted but calls for her firing trended on Twitter under the hashtag #FireGinaCarano, while support arose in criticisms against cancel culture, which had arguably reached its height between 2020 and 2021.
Gina Carano attends the premiere of Disney+'s “The Mandalorian” at El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 13, 2019. (Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
Gina Carano attends the premiere of Disney+'s “The Mandalorian” at El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 13, 2019. (Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

‘In a Galaxy Not So Far Away’

“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 stated. “And so it was with Carano.”

The actress played rebel ranger Cara Dune on two seasons of “The Mandalorian” before she was “terminated from her role as swiftly as her character’s peaceful home planet of Alderaan had been destroyed by the Death Star in an earlier Star Wars film.”

“And all this because she dared voice her own opinions, on social media platforms and elsewhere, and stood up to the online bully mob who demanded her compliance with their extreme progressive ideology,” the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit argues that Disney “took no action against male actors who took equally or more vigorous and controversial positions on social media.”

“But the rule of law still reigns over the Defendants’ empire,” the lawsuit says. “And Carano has returned to demand that they be held accountable for their bullying, discriminatory, and retaliatory actions—actions that inflicted.”

Ms. Carano has been openly critical of woke ideologies and government overreach, such as policies stemming from Black Lives Matter protests, the COVID-19 lockdowns, the vaccine mandates, election integrity, and transgenderism.

“Disney and Lucasfilm targeted Carano for harassment, termination, and public defamation—all because she expressed views that did not align with those of Disney and Lucasfilm,” the law firm said in the press release. “This was at a time when several of Carano’s male co-stars posted offensive and denigrating posts on social media directed towards Republicans and conservatives.”

‘Glimmer of Hope’

“Disney bullied Ms. Carano, trying to force her to conform to their views about cultural and political issues, and when that bullying failed, they fired her,” said attorney and managing partner of Schaerr Jaffe, Gene Schaerr. “Punishing employees for their speech on political or social issues is illegal under California law.”

Mr. Schaerr cited Section 1102 of the California Labor Code, which prohibits employers from firing or threatening to fire employers based on their adoption or refraining from adopting “any particular course or line of political action or political activity.”

On Mr. Musk’s support, she said she’s grateful to be supported by a company “that has been one of the last glimmer of hope for free speech in the works.”

“Thank you to Elon Musk and X for supporting me as I endeavor to clear my name and, I hope, make it more difficult for what happened to me to happen to the next person,” she said.

Ms. Carano is suing for wrongful termination and sex discrimination, and she aims for a court order that would mandate that Lucasfilm rehire her for roles, in addition to awarding her $75,000 along with punitive damages.

“The thing is I never even used aggressive language,” she said on social media platform X. “I shared thought-provoking quotes, pictures, memes & occasionally I used my own words, not with aggression but with respect & the occasional comedy to keep the mood light in dark times.”

The Epoch Times has contacted The Walt Disney Company for comment.