Gina Carano wants a jury to get her "Star Wars" job back.
The former "The Mandalorian" actor filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Walt Disney Co., Lucasfilm and Huckleberry Industries alleging wrongful termination and discrimination for her dismissal from the Disney+ series. Carano, who had portrayed former Rebellion soldier Cara Dune for two seasons on "The Mandalorian," had come under fire in 2021 for a number of problematic social media posts when Lucasfilm issued a statement that she was no longer employed by the studio.
According to the complaint filed in California federal court, Carano is seeking more than $75,000 in compensatory damages and to force Lucasfilm to reinstate her as Dune in a jury trial. Elon Musk, through X, the company formerly known as Twitter, is helping to fund Carano's lawsuit.
On Tuesday, Carano recounted in a post on X how an attorney hired by the social media site had reached out to her about her situation after she had responded to one of Musk's posts that offered to help those who had lost their jobs for their activity on the social media platform.
"[A] few months ago I received an email from a lawyer who had been hired by X to look into my story & many others," Carano wrote. "Turns out after sending them as much information as I could gather these past few months, my now lawyers & X believe whole-heartedly in my case & are moving forward."
X's head of business operations Joe Benarroch said in a statement to press including the Hollywood Reporter and Variety that the company was financially supporting supporting Carano's lawsuit "as a sign of X Corp.’s commitment to free speech ... empowering her to seek vindication of her free speech rights on X and the ability to work without bullying, harassment, or discrimination.”
"Please let us know if you would like to join the lawsuit against Disney," added Musk in a post on X.
In February 2021, Carano shared a since-deleted Instagram post that implied being a conservative today is comparable with being Jewish during the Holocaust. She had also previously been called out for right-wing posts that falsely claimed voter fraud affected the results of the 2020 presidential election, mocked wearing masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic and made fun of respecting people's pronouns.
On more than one occasion, Carano's social media statements incited critics to declare her racist or transphobic and demanded she be fired from the series. Others would rally around her in support, urging people to cancel Disney+ instead.
In response to questions about Carano's status with the "Star Wars" franchise at the time, Lucasfilm issued a statement clarifying that she was "not currently employed" with the studio and that "there [were] no plans for her to be in the future." The company also described Carano's problematic social media posts as "abhorrent and unacceptable."
But according to Carano, Lucasfilm's 2021 statement was untrue because she alleges she was promised a role in the since-shelved "Star Wars" spinoff "Rangers of the New Republic."
Carano and her attorneys claim that not only was the actor fired for her social media posts, she was "targeted, harassed, publicly humiliated, [and] defamed" for making "political statements that did not align with what [Disney] believed was an acceptable viewpoint."
The complaint also alleges Carano was harassed when the company demanded she make a public apology after she was called on to explain her position and required to meet with representatives of GLAAD. It claims that Carano was discriminated against because male actors who made left-leaning political statements, such as those that mocked Republicans, were not subject to the same treatment as Carano.
Disney has not responded to request for comment.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.