Lashing out on social media can be very expensive. It can even cost you your job. Just ask Gina Carano, a 41-year-old Texan actress who three years ago lost one of the great professional opportunities of her life because of an ill-advised tweet. In it, she compared the hatred of Jews during the Holocaust with the hatred that, in her opinion, American Republicans are suffering “for their political views.” The tweet cost her her role in the Disney series The Mandalorian. Now, exactly three years later, Carano is suing Disney, demanding to have her character written back into episodes, and asking for at least $75,000 in damages. After X owner Elon Musk announced a few months ago that he would help finance the reinstatement of anyone who was fired for exercising freedom of speech on his social media platform, the entrepreneur has confirmed that he will contribute to Carano’s legal representation.
Hence, it is not surprising that the actress has turned to X to publicize the wrongful termination lawsuit, filed in a federal court in the State of California. “After my 20 years of building a career from scratch, and during the regime of former Disney CEO Bob Chapek, Lucasfilm made this statement on Twitter, terminating me from The Mandalorian: ‘Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm & there are no plans for her to be in the future. Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural & religious identities are abhorrent & unacceptable.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is I was being hunted down from everything I posted to every post I liked because I was not in line with the acceptable narrative of the time. My words were consistently twisted to demonize & dehumanize me as an alt right wing extremist. It was a bullying smear campaign aimed at silencing, destroying & making an example out of me.”
The message posted by Carano, who appeared in eight episodes of the first two seasons playing field marshal Cara Dune, was deleted shortly after she wrote it, but many followers of the series had already saved it and spread it on social media. It read: “Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors... even by children. Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views?” In the previous months, in the toughest moments of the Covid pandemic, she made fun of people who wore masks. She also criticized the Black Lives Matter movement. And she followed in the footsteps of Donald Trump, claiming that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, a theory frequently repeated by the alt-right and one of the triggers for the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
The actress says that she never used aggressive language, but rather images, memes “and occasionally I used my own words, not with aggression but with respect & the occasional comedy to keep the mood light in dark times.” She denies that her 2021 tweet was comparing Republicans with the Jews who suffered the Holocaust, says she was never racist or transphobic, and that her frequent comments in which she questioned “masks, confinements and forced vaccines” were only seeking “to ask & push the subject into the light.” In addition, she accuses the entertainment industry of being false in its support for women: “Why then were my male co-stars permitted to speak without harassment & re-education courses or termination, but I was not afforded the same right to exercise my freedom of speech?”
Now, Carano is looking for continuity for her career in the world of entertainment, which began about 15 years ago. In that time she has participated in a dozen motion pictures, most of them action movies such as the Fast&Furious franchise and in films such as Haywire, by Steven Soderbergh, and Deadpool, by Tim Miller. “It has been difficult to move forward with the lies & labels stuck on me, backed & encouraged by the most powerful entertainment company in the world,” she said in a long X post that thanked Elon Musk for his support. “I am grateful someone has come to my defense in such a powerful way & look forward to clearing my name. ”
Please let us know if you would like to join the lawsuit against Disney https://t.co/FnMxhUQvVA— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 6, 2024
Musk, who bought the social media platform in October 2022, has declared himself a staunch defender of freedom of speech, although he does not allow people to criticize him and has fired employees for speaking badly about him. In her X post, Carana recalls that “a couple months ago, Elon Musk tweeted that if you had been fired from using the platform (X) for exercising your right to free speech, he would like to offer these people legal representation. Quite the noble offer, but never in my wildest dreams would I have thought anyone would take on my case against Lucasfilm/Disney.”
Musk himself has not missed the opportunity and has retweeted Carano’s message to his more than 171 million followers: “Please let us know if you would like to join the lawsuit against Disney.” In another message, he said he was “proud” to provide financial assistance to Carano, “empowering her to seek vindication of her free speech rights on X and the ability to work without bullying, harassment, or discrimination.”
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