Carano Sues Disney Over Firing, Musk Funds Legal Battle

Carano Sues Disney Over Firing, Musk Funds Legal Battle

Gina Carano, known for her role in "The Mandalorian," is taking legal action against Disney and Lucasfilm. She claims they discriminated against her and wrongly fired her because of her right-wing views on social media. What makes this lawsuit interesting is that Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, is reportedly funding Carano's legal fight through his company, X.

In the legal complaint filed in California, Carano states that she faced harassment and defamation from Disney and Lucasfilm. She argues that her termination happened because she didn't agree with the companies on issues like Black Lives Matter, preferred pronouns, and claims of election interference. Carano also alleges that her male co-stars, who made offensive posts about Republicans, were treated differently.

The lawsuit points out a 2017 post by Pedro Pascal, one of Carano's co-stars, comparing Donald Trump to Hitler. Carano accuses Disney of trying to force her into a public apology and running a smear campaign after her termination. She mentions the removal of an episode she appeared in from "Running Wild With Bear Grylls" as part of this alleged campaign.

Elon Musk's involvement adds an interesting aspect to the legal proceedings. Musk, through his company X, is said to be supporting Carano's lawsuit as a commitment to free speech. Joe Benarroch, head of X's business operations, stated, "We’re proud to provide financial support for Gina Carano’s lawsuit, empowering her to seek vindication of her free speech rights."

Carano's legal action is not just about money. She wants a court order that would make Lucasfilm recast her in "The Mandalorian." Her aim is to uphold free speech rights and the right to work without facing discrimination or harassment.

Carano alleges that Disney and Lucasfilm demanded a public apology and made her meet with representatives of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination. When she declined, she claims she was told to meet with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and 45 employees who identify as LGBTQ+. This refusal allegedly led to her termination not only from "The Mandalorian" but also from other Star Wars titles like "Rangers of the New Republic."

The legal complaint argues that her termination had broader consequences, such as being dropped by her talent agency, UTA, and her transactional lawyer. Carano is claiming wrongful discharge and sex discrimination, seeking at least $75,000 in damages plus punitive damages.

This legal battle comes at a time when discussions about free speech, corporate influence, and consequences for expressing certain views are prevalent. It raises questions about how much freedom individuals in the public eye have to share their personal opinions without facing repercussions from the entertainment industry.

Elon Musk's public support for individuals facing consequences for their online activity is not new. Last year, he pledged to fund legal action for users on his platform, X, who claimed they faced discrimination from their employers due to their online presence. Musk promised to pursue these legal challenges without any financial limits, even targeting company boards of directors.

As the legal proceedings continue, the outcome of Carano's lawsuit could set examples for how public figures navigate expressing their views while meeting the expectations of the entertainment industry. The clash between powerful corporations, outspoken celebrities, and the broader societal conversation on free speech makes this legal battle a significant and closely observed development in Hollywood.

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