Actor Gina Carano sued Disney and Lucasfilm on Tuesday for firing her from “The Mandalorian” in 2021, over a social media post in which she compared being a Republican to being Jewish during the Holocaust.
The suit, filed in California federal court, alleges wrongful termination and discrimination, as well as a demand that the court should force Lucasfilm to recast her and pay at least $75,000 in punitive damages.
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Elon Musk is funding the suit, following his promise to pay for legal actions taken by people claiming discrimination from posts to Twitter/X. However, the posts in question originated on Carano’s Instagram Stories.
“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,” said Joe Benarroch, head of business operations at X, in a statement.
Carano played Cara Dune, a Rebel soldier turned mercenary, for the first two seasons of “The Mandalorian,” which streams on Disney+. But she came under immediate criticism when she shared a post from a different Instagram account in February 2021.
“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 read.
The same day as the post, Lucasfilm and UTA, Carano’s agency at the time, dropped her. UTA, however, is not named as a defendant in the suit. The case alleges that Disney is at fault for Carano’s former agency dropping the actor.
Carano’s lawsuit, which includes several elaborate “Star Wars” references, says Disney and Lucasfilm “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 plaintiff points to previous social media posts from “Star Wars” actors Pedro Pascal and Mark Hamill, in which President Donald Trump and his supporters were compared to Adolf Hitler and Nazis, as acts of discrimination on the part of Disney, turning a blind eye to male co-stars’ political statements with no financial or professional repercussions.
Variety has reached out to representatives for Disney, Lucasfilm and Carano for comment.
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