Actress Gina Carano is suing Disney and LucasFilm for wrongful termination and discrimination, claiming she was dropped from The Mandalorian for expressing her “personal political opinions”.
Carano was fired in February 2021 over political opinions she expressed on social media, the lawsuit said, after starring in two series of Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian as Rebel ranger Cara Dune.
The 41-year-old had referenced the Nazis’ treatment of Jewish people while discussing political differences in the US at the time.
Production company LucasFilm then released a statement suggesting her “social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable”.
The actress’s complaint, filed at the Californian District Court on Tuesday, is financially supported by X Corp, the Elon Musk-owned social media platform.
She is seeking at least $75,000 (about £59,000) in compensatory damages and a trial by jury.
In the court documents, it is claimed that Disney and LucasFilm “targeted, harassed, publicly humiliated, defamed, and went to great lengths to destroy Carano’s career”.
Carano also claims she was treated differently to her male co-workers, according to the lawsuit.
Lawyer Gene Schaerr, managing partner at Schaerr Jaffe, said: “Disney bullied Ms Carano, trying to force her to conform to their views about cultural and political issues, and when that bullying failed, they fired her.
“Punishing employees for their speech on political or social issues is illegal under California law.”
Carano, who began her career as a mixed martial arts fighter, has starred in other Hollywood franchises including Fast & Furious 6 as Riley Hicks, and Deadpool, in which she played Angel Dust.
“We rely on our leaders and people in positions of power to be just, cool-headed and steady-handed and to be able to listen to all sides of the story, keep the peace and act justly,” she said.
“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.”
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Carano also said she was “honoured” to have the support of Tesla chief executive Musk, who first contacted her on X.
“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,” a statement from the company said.
Sky News has contacted Disney and LucasFilm for comment.