Gina Carano sues Disney over 2021 firing, cites costar Pedro Pascal's behavior in lawsuit

Gina Carano cites posts by Pedro Pascal and Mark Hamill in trying to argue that she was unfairly fired from her role as Cara Dune in The Mandalorian.
Gina Carano is Cara Dune in THE MANDALORIAN, season two, exclusively on Disney+.
Gina Carano is Cara Dune in THE MANDALORIAN, season two, exclusively on Disney+. /

In 2020, actor Gina Carano was fired from her role as Cara Dune on the Star Wars TV show The Mandalorian, upending Disney's plans for a show called Rangers of the New Republic that would have involved her character. Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, she's using Disney and Lucasfilm for wrongful discharge and sex discrimination, demanding that Lucasfilm recast her and deliver her at least $75,000 in punitive damages.

Disney fired Carano for what it termed "abhorrent and unacceptable” behavior on social media. To quickly run down some of what led to her firing, she mocked the practice of pronoun sharing, mocked the practice back during the thick of the pandemic, parroted false claims about the 2020 election having been stolen (she shared that one about two months before the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, for context), and finally posted a message equating the criticism directed at modern day conservations to what Jewish people suffered during the Holocaust in Germany under Adolf Hitler.

That last one seemed to be the last straw for Disney, which fired her in February of 2021. In between, Disney also attempted to get Carano to apologize for some of her statements, which she refused to do. She details some of this in her complaint, which you can read in full here.

To support her case that she was treated unfairly, Carano's complaint brings up the social media activity of her male costars, whom Carano alleges also made disparaging remarks about people but who were not punished. For instance, she points out that her Mandalorian costar Pedro Pascal posted a meme comparing detainees in a concentration camp during World War II to young immigrants detailed at the United States-Mexico border in 2018, or another where Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street are holding a pride flag and a "Black Lives Matter" sign. She also cites posts made by Mark Hamill, who returned to play Luke Skywalker briefly on The Mandalorian.

In Carano's claim, she argues that she was discriminated against on account of her sex, and as evidence cites the fact that she was disciplined for her politically charged posts while Pascal and Hamill were not. That claim, at least, seems like a stretch to me, since it looks like the difference there was that Pascal and Hamill were posting left-leaning posts while she was posting from a conservative perspective, rather than having anything to do with her sex. But we'll see what the court says.

THR notes that at-will employees in the private sector like Carano often have a hard time obtaining damages for terminations over promlematic online posts made in violation of company policy, in part because — unlike public employees — they are not shielded from discipline by the Frist Amendment.

In another twist, Carano's case is being funded by Elon Musk, the owner of X, formerly Twitter, where Carano made many of the comments that got her into hot water with Disney. Musk earlier claimed to pay the legal bill for users who claim they have been discriminated against due to their activity on his platform.

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