Elon Musk Funds Gina Carano's Disney Lawsuit Over 'Mandalorian' Shooting

Actress Gina Carano is suing Disney over the 2021 cancellation of “The Mandalorian” TV show — a lawsuit funded by Elon Musk, who has taken a swipe at the group since it withdrew advertising dollars from the social media platform he owns last year.

Musk – who bought Twitter in October 2022 with the aim of making it a city without police Freedom of Speech – Promised to fund lawsuits for people “Treated unfairly” By their employers through their positions or activities on the platform he renamed X.

He reiterated Carano made that promise Tuesday after filing an X-sponsored lawsuit against Disney and its subsidiary Lucasfilm.

Carano starred as Kara Dune in “The Mandalorian,” an addition to the Star Wars franchise that premiered in November 2019. As a former mixed martial artist, her acting and performance initially received positive reviews, but controversy over her social media activity culminated in her being dropped. After he posted an Instagram story in February 2021, many critics drew comparisons between having right-wing views and being Jewish during the Holocaust.

Gina Carano steps away from 'The Mandalorian' over 'disgusting and unacceptable' social media posts, Lucasfilm says

The backlash against the post led to the hashtag #FireGinaCarano trending on Twitter at the time. In a statement at the time, Lucasfilm said Carano's “social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable” and had no plans to hire her.

Tuesday, Carano refused makes a comparison. The text of his Instagram story, which has since been deleted, was accompanied by a disturbing Nazi-era photo and argued that “before soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made them hate their own neighbors simply for being Jewish.” How is this different from hating someone for their political views?

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In the lawsuit, Carrano's lawyers allege that he was fired in retaliation for “the lawful exercise of his right to speak and express his views.” He has previously been criticized for his social media activities Like posts He scorned that Black Lives Matter Movement, teasing Wearing a coronavirus mask is a Democrat conspiracy And echoes former President Donald Trump's baseless claims Voter fraud In the 2020 election.

In a statement Tuesday at X, Carano said He was “hounded” online because his views “didn't conform to the accepted narrative at the time” and a lawyer hired by X contacted him after he responded to Musk's proposal to fund legal representation.

“My words were constantly twisted to demonize and dehumanize me as a right-wing extremist,” he said. “This is a bullying smear campaign aimed at silencing, destroying and making an example of me.”

In a statement, Carano's lawyers argued that her male co-stars were not disciplined for sharing anti-Republican political views on social media, “even though some may find their statements hateful.”

X, Disney and Lucasfilm are not immediate Respond to requests for comment.

Grant Kien, a professor of communication at California State University in the East Bay who studies technology and culture, said Musk is sponsoring the case to favor conservatives, a faction that has supported the current feud with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. With Disney, he characterized it as a “woke corporation.”

A timeline of the DeSantis-Disney feud

“Taking over Disney is now a right-wing virtue signal. … Disney is seen as this company that epitomizes what's wrong with America — it's part of this 'anti-wokeness' idea,” Kien said. “But there's another part of this that's very close to Musk: He has a personal motivation to fight Disney, especially publicly, because they pulled ads from X.”

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In the fall, companies including Disney, Apple, IBM, Paramount and Warner Bros. stopped advertising on X after the watchdog group Media Matters. reported The site places corporate ads next to anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi posts. Musk tweeted in agreement with a user who blamed rising online anti-Semitism on Jews and said Jewish people promote “anti-white hatred.”

Musk responded to the report Filing What he called “The Thermonuclear Case” Against media matters. He repeatedly railed against advertisers, particularly those who pulled Disney's funding, and said X's advertising boycott would “kill the company.”

Musk appears to be cultivating a public image that appeals to the far right, Kien said.

“They're the only ones who haven't given up on him,” he said. “As the big companies leave the platform, the gaps are filled by smaller advertisers who are usually more aggressive, and it's going in that direction.” Right-wing figures like Andrew Tate, Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, and Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been pledged In advertising money for X.

“It's part of his public image [calling himself] 'Free speech is a hermit,'” Kien said. “It's particularly appealing to the right — the far right — because they don't like to be silenced or say they're wrong. It is now part of the X brand.

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Eli Dan, Herb Scribner and Timothy Bella contributed to this report.

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