Actress Gina Carano sues Disney over being dropped from “The Mandalorian” television series in 2021 — a lawsuit funded by Elon Musk, who has taken swipes at the conglomerate since it withdrew advertising dollars last year from the social media platform he owns.
Musk, who purchased Twitter in October 2022 to transform it into a town square of unpoliced free speech, has promised to fund lawsuits for people “unfairly treated” by their employers over their posts or activity on the platform, which he has rebranded as X. He reiterated that promise Tuesday after Carano filed a lawsuit financed by X against Disney and its subsidiary, Lucasfilm, in which she asked for damages and for her role to be reinstated on the Emmy-winning TV show.
Carano’s Allegations of Online Targeting
Carano portrayed the character Cara Dune in “The Mandalorian,” a Star Wars series launched in November 2019. Initially praised for her performance, her involvement generated controversy due to her social media activity. This culminated in her departure from the show in February 2021 following an Instagram post that many interpreted as equating right-wing views with the experience of Jews during the Holocaust.
Legal Battle Supported by Musk
Gina Carano has been removed from ‘The Mandalorian’ due to “abhorrent and unacceptable” content on social media, according to Lucasfilm. The post prompted a backlash, leading to the hashtag #FireGinaCarano trending on Twitter. In a statement, Lucasfilm denounced Carano’s “social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities,” confirming that she would not be rehired.
Carano Denies Nazi Comparison
On Tuesday, Carano refuted making the comparison, disavowing any association with it. The content from her Instagram story, which has since been removed, featured a troubling image from the Nazi era. It contended that before the mass roundup of Jews by soldiers, the government instigated hatred among neighbors solely based on their Jewish identity.
Questions Hatred Based on Political Beliefs
In the lawsuit, as Gina Carano sues Disney her legal team asserts that her termination was an act of retaliation against her lawful exercise of free speech and expression of opinions. Previously, she had faced criticism for her social media activity, including endorsing posts critical of the Black Lives Matter movement, ridiculing mask-wearing during the pandemic as a conspiracy of the Democratic Party, and echoing former President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of election fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
Gina Carano Sues Disney, Speaks Out
In a statement released on Tuesday regarding X, Carano asserted that she felt targeted online due to her divergent viewpoints not aligning with the prevailing narrative. She recounted being approached by a legal representative from X after she accepted Elon Musk’s offer to support her legal defense. Describing her experience, she lamented how her words were consistently twisted to depict her as an extremist aligned with the alt-right, fostering a campaign of bullying aimed at silencing her voice and tarnishing her reputation.
Alleges Targeting for Divergent Views
Carano’s legal team further argued that her male counterparts faced no repercussions for expressing their political beliefs opposing Republicans on social media, despite the potential controversy surrounding their statements. Notably, there was no immediate response from X, Disney, or Lucasfilm to requests for comment on the matter.
Speculation Surrounds Musk’s Support as Gina Carano sues Disney
Grant Kien, a professor specializing in technology and culture at California State University, East Bay, speculated that Musk’s involvement in funding Carano’s lawsuit might be a strategic move to garner support from conservative circles, particularly those sympathetic to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s ongoing clash with Disney, which he has labeled as a “woke corporation.”
Allegations of Antisemitic Content on X Platform
Last autumn, several companies, including Disney, Apple, IBM, Paramount, and Warner Bros., halted advertising on X following a report from the watchdog group Media Matters, which revealed that corporate ads were being placed alongside antisemitic and pro-Nazi content on the platform. Musk had also previously endorsed a statement blaming the increase in online antisemitism on Jews and suggesting that Jewish individuals promoted “hatred against whites.”