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The Mandalorian actress sues Disney - with Elon Musk footing the bills

Mandalorian actress Gina Carano sues Disney with Elon Musk footing the bills
Mandalorian actress Gina Carano sues Disney with Elon Musk footing the bills Copyright Disney - Lucasfilms / AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
Copyright Disney - Lucasfilms / AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
By David Mouriquand
Published on Updated
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The actress has sued Disney and Lucasfilm after she was fired in 2021 over a social media post in which she compared being a Republican to being a Jew during the Holocaust. Now, Elon Musk is backing her by picking up the legal tab.

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American actress and former MMA fighter Gina Carano is taking the fight to Disney’s door – with a little help from X/Telsa owner Elon Musk, who will be footing the legal bills.

Let’s rewind a bit.

Carano, 41, played Cara Dune in the first two seasons of the Disney+ Star Wars show The Mandalorian. 

During that time, she frequently infuriated left-wingers online. It all came to a head when she shared a post on her Instagram account in February 2021 equating the persecution of Jews by the Nazis to the political climate Republicans face today.

"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," the post read. "How is that any different from hating someone for their political views."

The openly conservative Carano was immediately dropped by Lucasfilm, the production company behind the show, as well as UTA, the talent agency that had represented her for nearly two years.

In a statement at the time, a Lucasfilm spokesperson said "her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable".

Now, three years after Carano was axed by the then Bob Chapek-run Disney, Carano is suing Disney and Lucasfilm for dropping her from The Mandalorian, in a court filing which alleges that the Walt Disney Company was at fault for UTA dropping her.

Gina Carano
Gina CaranoJeff Chiu/AP

The 59-page civil suit, filed in California federal court, lays out allegations of wrongful termination and retaliation... with so many Star Wars references.

"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 complaint begins.

Carano claims she was fired "because she dared voice her own opinions... and stood up to the online bully mob who demanded her compliance with their extreme progressive ideology".

In a lengthy statement on X, Carano said she had been “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. The thing is I never even used aggressive language. 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.”

She continued: “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.”

Carano and her lawyers are hoping to call out Disney and Lucasfilm for reneging on a deal and sacrificing free speech.

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“In addition to terminating her, Defendants refused to hire her for roles already promised, including but not limited to Season 3 of The Mandalorian, the new series Rangers of the New Republic, and planned future Stars Wars full length feature films (which have recently been announced) — all because of her political beliefs and in disparate treatment from her male co-workers,” the complaint asserts.

The suit also spotlights posts and statements made by Mandalorian lead Pedro Pascal and Mark Hamill regarding Donald Trump and the former president’s policies being like those of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, highlighting a percieved double standard.

“Hollywood says they support female representation & equal rights,” stated Carano. “Why then were my male co-stars permitted to speak without harassment & re-education courses or termination, but I was not afforded the same right to exercise my freedom of speech.”

Carano is seeking $75,000 (€69,600) in damages, and revealed that Musk would be footing her legal bill.

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Elon Musk
Elon MuskCzarek Sokolowski/AP

“A couple months ago @ElonMusk 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.”

“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 @ElonMusk & @X for giving me an opportunity to bring my case to light.”

Musk’s team confirmed its financial support of Carano.

“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,” read a statement released by the Musk-owned social media platform’s head of business operations Joe Benarroch.

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“I am grateful someone has come to my defense in such a powerful way & look forward to clearing my name,” concluded Carano in her X post.

Since her firing from The Mandalorian, Carano has partnered with editor-in-chief of the rightwing news website and media company The Daily Wire in order to make the western Terror on the Prairie. She has also starred alongside Laurence Fox in My Son Hunter, a drama about President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden, a film which was distributed by American far-right syndicated news and opinion website Breitbart.

As of publication, Disney and Lucasfilm have yet to make any statement concerning the civil suit.

Additional sources • Deadline - AP

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