Fired ‘Mandalorian’ actor sues Disney with backing by Elon Musk

Dive Brief:

  • Actor and former mixed martial artist Gina Carano sued the Walt Disney Co. Tuesday for wrongful termination and discrimination in a lawsuit backed by billionaire Elon Musk. 
  • Carano alleged the media giant fired her from “The Mandalorian” series in 2021 over her conservative posts on social media sites, including X, formerly known as Twitter. Social media users criticized the posts as being racist, antisemitic, transphobic and supportive of claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The actor also alleged she was treated differently than male co-workers who expressed political views on social media. Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 
  • “A short time ago in a galaxy not so far away, 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,” reads the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in California.

Dive Insight:

Musk posted on X in August that the company would fund the legal bills for people who were “unfairly treated” by their employers for posting or liking something on the platform. 

Musk confirmed on X Tuesday that his offer was extended to Carano in her case against Disney. 

“Ms. Carano is being supported in this effort by X Corp, which stated: ‘As a sign of X Corp’s commitment to free speech, the online platform is proud to provide financial support for 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,’” Carano’s attorneys said in a news release Tuesday, referring to California state law protections.

The actor, who played Cara Dune, a former Rebellion soldier in “The Mandalorian” series, was fired in February 2021 shortly after a post that likened the persecution Jewish people faced during the Holocaust to the hatred people experience today for political differences. After the now-deleted post on Instagram, the hashtag #FireGinaCarano started trending.

Carano requested to be reinstated in her role and to receive at least $75,000 in compensatory damages for her firing and the loss of future employment, as well as emotional distress and punitive damages to be determined at trial, per the lawsuit.