Gina Carano, who used to play Cara Dune in Disney's The Mandalorian before being dropped by the show following "abhorrent and unacceptable" posts on social media, is taking Disney subsidiary Lucasfilm to court to get her job back, and (via Kotaku) Elon Musk is funding the suit.
Carano was dropped from The Mandalorian in 2021, following a long career of inflammatory right-wing posts on social networking sites, which eventually culminated in a now-deleted Instagram story comparing the treatment of American conservatives to the persecution of Jewish people by Nazi Germany, and which included a photograph of the 1941 Lviv pogroms. Carano quickly became Hollywood persona non grata, and her career since has consisted of roles in low-budget, conservative media-funded movies like Terror on the Prairie and My Son Hunter.
So it's not really surprising Carano would like a court order to restore her relationship with one of the largest entertainment corporations on Earth. Musk, meanwhile, has stepped in to fund the crusade because many of Carano's controversial statements were made on Twitter. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Twitter's head of business operations Joe Bennaroch said, "As a sign of X Corp's [Twitter's] commitment to free speech, we're proud to provide financial support for Gina Carano's lawsuit, empowering her to seek vindication of her free speech rights on X [Twitter] and the ability to work without bullying, harassment, or discrimination."
The court filings are something to behold. In them, Carano's lawyers really get into the spirit of things, writing "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," adding that "Carano was terminated from her role as swiftly as her character's peaceful home planet of Alderaan had been destroyed by the Death Star."
Carano is hoping to get a court to order Lucasfilm to restore her to role as Cara Dune, as well as punitive damages of at least $75,000 for discrimination and wrongful termination. In court documents, Carano alleges that Disney and Lucasfilm "targeted, harassed, publicly humiliated, defamed, and went to great lengths to destroy Carano's career," that the companies bullied her, and that her own inflammatory social media posts were treated differently to those of her male co-stars, "who likewise expressed their personal political views on social media but, upon information and belief, were not counseled or disciplined, let alone terminated."
Of Musk's involvement, Carano said that she was "honored that my case has been chosen to be supported by the company that has been one of the last glimmers of hope for free speech in the world."
I am no legal expert, so I cannot tell you how Carano's will shake out, but I am deeply sceptical of Musk's oft-touted free-speech absolutism. A report from Rest of World found that Musk's Twitter is complying with more requests for government censorship than the site was before Musk bought it, and with that in mind, it's difficult to see the company's support of Carano as anything other than a stunt.