Elon Musk is helping fund a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by "The Mandalorian" actor Gina Carano, who says she was fired from the Disney+ series after voicing her conservative opinions on social media.
The former mixed martial artist sued Lucasfilm — the producer of the Star Wars series — and its parent The Walt Disney Company in California federal court Tuesday, claiming she lost representation and employment opportunities as a result of their "retaliation" and discriminatory treatment of her regarding the posts. The lawsuit seeks a court order forcing the companies to recast her in "The Mandalorian."
Carano said Tuesday her decision to sue came after Musk pledged six months ago to fund the legal bills of X users who believed they'd been fired for exercising their right to free speech. Musk's company X Corp. said in a statement its funding of the case serves as a sign of its "commitment to free speech," while Musk again stood behind his pledge in a post on X Tuesday, saying, "Please let us know if you would like to join the lawsuit against Disney."
Please let us know if you would like to join the lawsuit against Disney https://t.co/FnMxhUQvVA
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 6, 2024
Carano was fired from her breakout role in early 2021 after a slew of conspiracy-theorized and right-wing social media posts drew swift backlash, including one post likening America's treatment of conservatives to Nazi Germany's treatment of Jews that spurred the hashtag #FireGinaCarano to trend on then-Twitter.
Lucasfilm soon after confirmed Carano had been terminated after two seasons and that it had no plans to employ her again. The company's statement also said Carano's "social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable."
The actor was thereafter dropped by United Talent Agency.
In her lawsuit Tuesday, Carano said Disney and Lucasfilm defamed her when they "publicly mischaracterized" her character and her social media posts in which she refused to support "movements and ideologies" like "Black Lives Matter, COVID lockdowns, election irregularities and transgender pronouns."
Meanwhile, she claims in the suit that her male co-stars weren't disciplined or publicly accused of "denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities" when they made "offensive" social media posts directed toward conservatives.
"Some of us have been unjustly singled out, harassed, persecuted and had our livelihoods stripped away because we dared to encourage conversation, asked questions, and refused to go along with the mob," Carano said in a statement.
Carano was paid $25,000 per each "The Mandalorian" episode she was in, appearing as a guest actor, along with a one-time $5,000 bonus she later negotiated. Along with the order to be recast, Carano is seeking at least $75,000 in punitive damages.
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