Elon Musk, the owner of social media platform X, is helping fund Gina Carano’s lawsuit against Disney, following the actor’s firing from the television series The Mandalorian.
The suit was brought against Disney and its subsidiary Lucasfilm, and alleges that the production companies wrongfully terminated Carano from The Mandalorian and other Star Wars titles for sharing far-right opinions on social media.
Fulfilling his 2023 pledge to foot the legal bills of users who claimed to have been discriminated against for their posts on the platform formerly known as Twitter, Musk has agreed to help fund Carano’s lawsuit.
The posts in question saw Carano — who portrayed Cara Dune on The Mandalorian — upload a string of controversial opinions in 2021, one of which compared the treatment of conservatives in the US to that of Jewish people in Nazi Germany.
Other posts included ridiculing mask mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic, and furthering false suggestions of voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election. Carano also shared online comments criticising protesters during the Black Lives Matter movement.
In a statement at the time of her dismissal in 2021, a spokesperson for Lucasfilm confirmed Carano was no longer employed at the company, describing her posts as “abhorrent and unacceptable”, and “denigrating [of] people based on their cultural and religious identities”.
Alongside her firing from The Mandalorian, an upcoming project centred on Cara Dune — titled Rangers of the New Republic — was removed from Lucasfilm’s release schedule. Carano also claimed that Disney omitted her image and likeness in promotional materials for an episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls in which she guest starred, as part of what the lawsuit describes as a “post-termination smear campaign”.
Carano was dropped by her agency, UTA, in 2021. Now, Carano’s wrongful termination lawsuit has alleged that Lucasfilm harassed and defamed her for refusing to conform to their views on topics relating Black Lives Matter, preferred pronouns and false claims of electoral fraud.
The suit also alleges that her male co-stars, including The Mandalorian star Pedro Pascal, were able to post derogatory statements about conservatives and Republicans without punishment.
The suit details an alleged incident in which Carano was required by Disney to meet with a GLAAD spokesperson, following online posts that were deemed anti-trans. After refusing to attend both that meeting and another involving LGBTQIA+ Disney employees, Carano was terminated.
Carano is claiming wrongful discharge and sexual discrimination, seeking $75,000 in damages and a court order that would require her to be recast on The Mandalorian.
Musk’s involvement in the lawsuit stems from his promise last August to fund the legal bills of X users “were unfairly treated by [their] employer due to posting or liking something on this platform”.
Responding to the suit, X’s head of business operations Joe Benarroch said the platform is “proud to provide financial support” for Carano, and hopes to “[empower] her to seek vindication of her free speech rights on X and the ability to work without bullying, harassment, or discrimination”.
Today is an important day for me–I am filing a lawsuit against @lucasfilm & @Disney
After my 20 years of building a career from scratch, and during the regime of former Disney CEO Bob Chapek, Lucasfilm made this statement on Twitter, terminating me from The Mandalorian: “Gina…
— Gina Carano 🕯 (@ginacarano) February 6, 2024
Carano took to X to share her “deepest gratitude” to Musk, thanking the platform for “com[ing] to my defense in such a powerful way”.
Neither Disney nor Lucasfilm has responded to the lawsuit. The Mandalorian executive producer Rick Famuyiwa addressed Carano’s absence in the third season last year, saying the show would focus more on the characters of Din Djarin and Grogu.
“It’s a big galaxy and we have many characters in it — many characters are fighting for their screen time,” Famuyiwa said.