It’s now one week since the news emerged that Gina Carano had officially been let go from The Mandalorian over social media posts. Many sources, including The Hollywood Reporter and Heat Vision, have been digging for more. It was widely known that she was already considered to be on thin ice over earlier social media posts.
The hashtag #FireGinaCarano had already been circulating as far back as September 2020. This was in response to posts on social media where she had questioned the efficacy of masks, raised queries over the 2020 election anomalies and refused to use self-identified preferred pronouns. She characteristically refused to back down on all fronts.
Lucasfilm did not take any public action at this time, and it was widely reported that Jon Favereau had defended her robustly internally. Series lead Pedro Pascal is on the opposite end of the political spectrum to Carano and has a trans sibling, however he also stood by her, referring to her as a friend and colleague.
Carano herself had already said she and co-star Pascal had spoken about this privately about this specifically and she had learned a lot from talking with him.
It appeared that the noise had largely died down and whatever resolution had happened internally within the production. Then, little over a week ago, Carano posted this on social media:
The noise immediately started up again. The post was declared “Anti-Semitic” despite it being a re-post of a direct quote about the beginnings of the holocaust. Very swiftly a statement was forthcoming from Lucasfilm:
Lucasfilm had opted not to renew Carano’s contract for a new, third season of The Mandalorian and therefore would not be using her in the forthcoming Rangers Of The New Republic. (Spoiler talk about The Mandalorian Finale)
It has since emerged that Carano herself was not told first, and she learned of her contract non-renewal through social media. In an interview with conservative pundit Bari Weiss this week she claimed she was warned once, internally, about her social media usage.
The Hollywood Reporter picks up a comment from her that she declined to issue an apology that Disney had written on her behalf. Heat Vision queries her statements and indicates that Lucasfilm warned her on a number of occasions.
One internal source told the publication:
“She knew it was going to alarm people. Why would you put [series creator Jon] Favreau in that position?”.
They also confirmed that the decision was not Favreau’s. It was done above him at Lucasfilm.
The Cara Dune spin-off of The Mandalorian was apparently NOT Rangers Of The New Republic, and that was already parked before the Disney 2020 Investor Day due to the earlier posts she had made. The plan was basically on probation.
Now Lucasfilm has fully pulled the plug, her agents UTA have dropped her and even Hasbro has ended production on the Cara Dune action figures. Lucasfilm have hinted that Cara Dune character will most likely be written out of the show, and not recast.
Another source mentions that this is not about political views differing between Carano and leadership. Instead it is a famously risk averse, publically traded company wanting to distance itself from political controversy. The internal line is offensive behavior from both sides is to be avoided to:
“…send an inclusive message to both employees and fans from marginalized backgrounds to show that they are valued.”
However other observers have pointed out that they did not censor Pedro Pascal over his social media posts that were directed at voters with opposing views to the actor, or John Boyega’s politically charged Black Lives Matter activity last year. This has raised questions as to whether this really is a politically agnostic position as it appeared those with the “correct” views were not the subject of any internal action.
Others have pointed to the Lucasfilm statement itself and pointed out that the post in question from Carano did not really do what the statement accused her of:
“…denigrating people based on their religious and cultural identities.”
The #CancelDisneyPlus hashtag started to circulate at the same time and Disney were apparently noticing cancellations. During this time questions have been raised over the wisdom of Lucasfilm cancelling a strong female character played by a woman who robustly refused to be cowed by an online mob.
Maybe they have shot themselves in the foot over this?