Earlier today, it was revealed that Lucasfilm has fired Gina Carano, known for playing Cara Dune in The Mandalorian.
The move comes in the wake of yet another controversial post on social media by Carano. A Lucasfilm spokesperson released a statement saying, “Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future. Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable.”
Now, one interesting part of that statement to me is that they say she isn’t currently employed by Lucasfilm, which makes me wonder whether this decision had already happened and was just disclosed now in the wake of another stir. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a source said, “They have been looking for a reason to fire her for two months, and today was the final straw.” In other words, they already weren’t happy. THR reports Lucasfilm was set to announce Cara Dune as the star of her own Disney+ series at last December’s Walt Disney Investor’s Day (where they announced a ton of other shows), but changed their mind after some of her social media posts in November.
That context is crucial in understanding Lucasfilm’s decision, for this was not a rash reaction to one post but rather the final straw of a months-long series of questionable social media posts by one of the show’s most prominent stars. Those posts included her engaging in conspiracy theories, mocking people’s preferred pronouns, and more. Then yesterday, she posted something which seemed to suggest that she views the pushback she receives on social media over her political views as similar to the hatred Jews experienced during the holocaust. You may view some of these things as worse than others, but the decision that Lucasfilm made doesn’t seem to be about any one in particular but rather the cumulative effect of them. She used her platform to mock others, and eventually Lucasfilm said that enough was enough.
It’s really hard to fault them for that decision, either. Maybe I’m just naive, but I’d guess that people from Lucasfilm have had previous conversations with her about stopping these posts, and she hasn’t. It’s not a denial of her free speech for her employer to hand down consequences for her words.
In the fallout from this, Carano was dropped from her agency, while the Walt Disney Company meanwhile announced that they now have nearly 95 million subscribers to Disney+, a very strong and healthy number. The Mandalorian has been the flagship program for the streaming service and was recently nominated for the best TV drama at the Golden Globes. Disney and Lucasfilm are doing just fine, and I highly doubt this move will change things. They can rather easily write Cara Dune out of the show, and more importantly, they’re taking action against an actor who has repeatedly used her social media presence poorly and hurtfully.
It’s sad that it had to come to this, but it was the right decision.