Actress Gina Carano has now filed a lawsuit against Disney and Lucasfilm after Elon Musk helped finance lawyers willing to take up her case of alleged wrongful termination and discrimination.
Carano, a former MMA fighter, spent two seasons playing Rebel ranger Cara Dune on the smash hit “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian.” Despite the success of the show and Carano’s obvious popularity with fans, Disney executives fired her in February 2021, claiming that some of her social media posts were not in keeping with the company’s “values.”
“Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future,” a statement from Lucasfilm said at the time. “Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable.”
During and after the government lockdowns of 2020, Carano took to Twitter, now called X, and questioned a number of national policies, including those regarding vaccine mandates and election integrity. “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,” Carano said in a lengthy X post announcing the lawsuit. “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.”
Not only was Carano targeted because of her personal opinions, the lawsuit said, but because she’s a woman. “Her male co-stars were not disciplined, let alone terminated in a way to destroy their careers even though some would find their statements ‘abhorrent,'” it stated.
Carano claimed on X that she maintains a good relationship with “all” of her former co-stars. “[T]here is nothing but care and kind words between us,” she insisted.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court of the Central District of California and is humorously riddled with “Star Wars” references. “A short time ago in a galaxy not so far away,” the suit opens, “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.
“And so it was with Carano.”
In the suit, Carano is seeking to be reinstated to her former “Mandalorian” role; an admission from the defendants that her termination was “unlawful and in violation of California law”; at least $75,000 in lost compensation; other compensatory damages since she also lost a promised role in another “Star Wars” series, “Rangers of the New Republic”; emotional distress damages; and other punitive damages to be determined at trial.
Carano indicated on X that the lawsuit likely would never have happened if Elon Musk had not offered to help those who had been fired for using Twitter to exercise their First Amendment right to free speech. “[N]ever in my wildest dreams would I have thought anyone would take on my case against Lucasfilm/Disney,” Carano wrote. “… 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.”
Joe Benarroch, the head of business operations at X, confirmed X’s involvement with the litigation. “As a sign of X Corp.’s commitment to free speech, we’re proud to provide financial support for Gina Carano’s lawsuit,” his statement said, “empowering her to seek vindication of her free speech rights on X and the ability to work without bullying, harassment, or discrimination.”
“I am grateful someone has come to my defense in such a powerful way & look forward to clearing my name,” added Carano.
Disney did not respond to Deadline’s request for comment.
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