LOS ANGELES - Backed by X owner Elon Musk, actress Gina Carano is suing Lucasfilm and its parent The Walt Disney Co. over her 2021 firing from "The Mandalorian," saying she was let go from the series for expressing right-wing views online.
The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday with the help of X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, in California federal court, according to the Associated Press.
Carano alleges in the complaint that she was wrongfully terminated from the "Star Wars" galaxy Disney+ streaming series after two seasons over a post likening the treatment of American conservatives to the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany.
She is seeking damages to be determined at trial and a court order that she be recast on the show.
The "Mandalorian," starring Pedro Pascal, is a bounty hunter tale that has aired for three seasons and is now being turned into a feature film. Several interconnected series also air on Disney+.
Carano, a former mixed martial artist, played the recurring character Cara Dune.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Carano’s post said: "most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Naxi 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?"
Carano deleted the post, but it was widely shared online and spurred a trending #FireGinaCarano hashtag.
At the time of her firing, Lucasfilm said in a statement that Carano’s social media posts "denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable."
The lawsuit alleges Carano was fired because she "dared voice her own opinions" against an "online bully mob who demanded her compliance with their extreme progressive ideology."
"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," the lawsuit reads. "Carano was terminated from her role as swiftly as her character’s peaceful home planet of Alderaan had been destroyed by the Death Star."
Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment from FOX Television Stations.
Carano had previously been criticized for social media posts that mocked mask wearing during the pandemic and made false allegations of voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election, the Associated Press reported.
She was also accused of mocking the use of gender pronouns in profiles, listing "beep/bop/boop" in her social media bio. She said this was not about mocking trans people but a "Star Wars" reference to R2-D2, and the lawsuit calls it "a playful way to defuse all the harassment she had received." But she alleges the issue led to the company harassing her.
"Were my questions about masks, lockdowns & forced vaccines ok to ask & push the subject into the light? Should we have been allowed to publicly discuss those topics at that time without being harassed or censored? Absolutely," Carano wrote in a post Tuesday on X, announcing the lawsuit and noting how X had helped fund it.
Carano’s lawsuit says she willingly took part in Zoom meetings with leaders of LGBTQ+ groups at the company’s behest with "very positive" results, but that Lucasfilm demanded a public apology in which she admitted "to mocking or insulting an entire group of people, which Carano had never done" and subjected her to other harassment over the issue.
The lawsuit says Lucasfilm also hurt her future work prospects by making "maliciously false" statements about her, according to the AP.
On his part, Musk posted on X that anyone who feels they were "discriminated against by Disney or its subsidiaries (ABC, ESPN, Marvel, etc), just reply to this post to receive legal support."
This story was reported from Cincinnati. The Associated Press contributed.