Gina Carano sues Disney over Star Wars firing

Gina Carano speaking at the 2015 Comic Con International in San Diego | Source: Gage Skidmore

An actress from Disney’s “The Mandalorian” filed a federal lawsuit against the company over her termination in 2021. She was fired after she posted a photo on Instagram that compared being a Republican to being a Jewish person during the Holocaust.

Key Players

Gina Carano, an actress known for her outspoken conservative views, appeared in the first two seasons of “The Mandalorian” before she was fired.

Lucasfilm, a Disney-owned film and TV production company, produces Star Wars content.

Further Details

In February 2021, Carano was fired from Lucasfilm after she posted an image from the Holocaust to her Instagram story that included the caption, “How is that any different than hating someone for their political views?” She then posted another story showing an image of a person whose head was entirely covered with masks, with the caption, “meanwhile in California.” She deleted these posts by the end of the day.

This was not the first time Carano had attracted controversy on social media. In 2020, she responded to fans asking her to put her pronouns in her bio by writing them as “beep/bop/boop.” She claimed that “beep/bop/boop” had nothing “to do with mocking trans people” but was about “exposing the bullying mentality of the mob that has taken over the voices of many genuine causes.” She later removed this part of her bio.

After her firing, Lucasfilm released a statement. “Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future,” a spokesperson said. “[H]er social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable.” Carano was also dropped by her talent agency.

Since her firing, Carano has continued acting in movies for The Daily Wire, a prominent conservative media company and news site. When she announced her deal with the site, she said, “I am sending out a direct message of hope to everyone living in fear of cancellation by the totalitarian mob. I have only just begun using my voice which is now freer than ever before, and I hope it inspires others to do the same. They can’t cancel us if we don’t let them.”

On Feb. 6, 2024, Carano sued Disney, demanding $75,000 in damages and that Lucasfilm recast Carano in “The Mandalorian.” The suit claims that Carano was “targeted, harassed, publicly humiliated, [and] defamed” for making “political statements that did not align with what [Disney] believed was an acceptable viewpoint.”

The actress also said that she was harassed when Disney required her to meet with representatives of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination, an LGBTQ+ advocacy organization, and publicly apologize, which she refused to do. Carano said that she was fired because she also refused to meet with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and 45 employees who identify as LGBTQ+.

Carano alleged that there was a double standard for male actors who made political statements on social media, citing a 2017 post from Pedro Pascal, the star of “The Mandalorian,” in which he compared then-President Donald Trump to Hitler.


Elon Musk agrees to fund Carano’s lawsuit

On the same day she filed her lawsuit, Carano announced that Tesla CEO and X owner Elon Musk would fund it.

In August 2023, Musk had announced that “If you were unfairly treated by your employer due to posting or liking something on this platform, we will fund your legal bill,” which motivated Carano to reach out to him.

“Turns out after sending them as much information as I could gather these past few months, my now lawyers and X believe whole-heartedly in my case and are moving forward,” Carano stated. “I would like to express my deepest gratitude and thank you to Elon Musk & X for giving me an opportunity to bring my case to light.”

Musk encouraged those who were “discriminated against by Disney or its subsidiaries (ABC, ESPN, Marvel, etc)” to reply to his post on X “to receive legal support.”

In reference to Carano’s case, Joe Benarroch, X’s head of business operations, said the company was “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.”

As of Feb. 20, 2024, there were no further developments.