Gina Carano, the former actress on the Disney+ Star Wars show “The Mandalorian,” sued The Walt Disney Company for “millions in lost income” over alleged wrongful termination and “discriminatory treatment” Tuesday.
“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,” the lawsuit, funded by X Corp. said.
Carano allegedly made waves for “refusing to support movements and ideologies with which she did not agree” including Black Lives Matter, COVID lockdowns and transgender pronouns.
The final straw for both Lucasfilm and Disney came when Carano drew criticism for a post on social media in which she compared today’s political divide to the events in Nazi Germany and conservatives to the Jewish people. The post included an image of a Jewish woman who was beaten and bloodied in a brutal campaign of anti-Jewish violence in Lwów when it was part of German-occupied territory.
“How is that different from hating someone for their political views?” Carano’s post said.
Lucasfilm released a statement after the fact, which said, “[H]er social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural & religious identities are abhorrent & unacceptable.”
The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleges that Carano was subject to harassment over her political views, which she publicly shared on social media, such as X.
“But the rule of law still reigns over the Defendants’ empire. And Carano has returned to demand that they be held accountable for their bullying, discriminatory, and retaliatory actions—actions that inflicted not only substantial emotional harm, but millions of dollars in lost income,” the lawsuit said.
X Corp. said it funded the suit as part of its “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,” a statement from the social media platform continued.
Her legal team argued that “Disney bullied Ms. Carano, trying to force her to conform to their views about cultural and political issues – when that bullying failed, they fired her.”
Attorneys from Schaerr Jaffe, LLP, alleged this conduct violated California laws, particularly one that stated, “No employer shall coerce or influence or attempt to coerce or influence his employees through or by means of threat of discharge or loss of employment to adopt or follow or refrain from adopting or following any particular course or line of political action or political activity.”
Carano reacted to the news, stating, “The truth is I was being hunted down from everything I posted to every post I liked because I was not in line with the acceptable narrative of the time. My words were consistently twisted to demonize & dehumanize me as an alt-right-wing extremist. It was a bullying smear campaign aimed at silencing, destroying & making an example out of me.”
X owner Elon Musk also weighed in on the news.
“Please let us know if you would like to join the lawsuit against Disney,” he wrote.
Disney CEO Bob Iger said in November 2023 that Disney pulled its advertising on X because of Musk’s public positions.
“And we know Elon is larger than life in many respects and that his name is very much tied to the companies he either has founded or he owns,” the Disney CEO said. “And by him taking the position that he took in quite a public manner, we just felt that the association with that position and Elon Musk and X was not necessarily a positive one for us, and we decided we would pull our advertising.”