It's been an interesting and bumpy ride for Gina Carano over the last several months.
The Mandalorian co-star who brought Cara Dune to life was fired by Disney and Lucasfilm recently over social media posts that the companies deemed to be the "final straw". The most recent post in question was the last of many that stemmed Twitter and Instagram outrage as far back as November, leading to several efforts by the "cancel culture" to see the actress removed from her role in the hit Disney+ series.
Last week's effort was successful, and after a flurry of rumors regarding the future of the character, both for the series and in merchandising, it was made clear that Cara Dune will not be returning. Carano has remained largely quiet about her firing, but on Sunday, the former MMA fighter will open up about her experience in a sit-down interview.
GINA CARANO TEASES HER SIDE OF THE STORY
Deadline has reported that Gina Carano will be doing a full sit-down interview with the Daily Wire's The Ben Shapiro Show, in which she'll detail her side of the events that resulted in her termination from Lucasfilm. The interview, set to be released in full on Sunday, was previewed by Deadline, who have exclusively obtained quotes from the actress' discussion with Ben Shapiro, with whom she'll partner with to produce and star in an upcoming feature film.
Carano shared that she was bullied by Disney during their contentious partnership, and hinted that she's not in exclusive territory:
“I’ve been through so much, and I’ve seen so much now, clearly, of the bullying that’s been taking place, and I saw it before. I’m not the only one that’s ever been bullied by this company, and I know that so deeply."
The actress added that there's a full story to tell, but it would jeopardize a personal friend's career:
“I could share a story which would turn things around in the media, but I can’t because it would sell out a friend… Everyone is afraid of losing their job.”
Carano, referencing her previous career as a fighter, says she knew things were likely coming to an end given the treatment towards her of some at Lucasfilm and Disney and a recent piece of artwork that removed her character entirely:
“You know how boxers head-hunt sometimes and forget to go for the body? I feel like Disney or Lucasfilm or whoever it is, just certain people at that company…I feel like I’ve been being head-hunted (…) and you can feel it. Just a couple of weeks ago, Lucasfilm asked an artist that they employ to erase my character and put a different character in place, and he proudly announces this on Twitter, and erases my character and puts another character in place. All the fans of Cara Dune were just outraged. They were like ‘Why didn’t you add the character? Why did you have to take off the character? Is there something wrong? Is Gina getting fired?”
The performer told Shapiro that she found out about her firing the same way everyone else did - through social media:
“How I found out was that I looked on the internet, and you know, you check your Twitter and I’m trending and the ‘fire Gina Carano’ hashtag worked.”
An accidental email from a Disney employee suggested to Carano that there was some in-fighting over how to handle the situation:
“They accidentally sent me an email, which was very enlightening, so I knew. I knew they were paying attention. I know there were some people who went to bat for me, but I know that they didn’t win out at the end.”
Carano and Shapiro expressed the sentiment that a double standard is applied to those in the entertainment industry regarding political ideology:
“They’ve been all over me and they’ve been watching me like a hawk, and I’m watching people on the same production and they can say everything they want, and that’s where I had a problem. I had a problem because I wasn’t going along with the narrative…"
Always a fighter before an actor, Carano was determined to stick to her guns and refused to cave corporate and social media pressure:
“I was prepared at any point to be let go, because I’ve seen this happen to so many people. I’ve seen the looks on their faces. I’ve seen the bullying that takes place, and so when this started, they point their guns at you, and you know it’s only a matter of time. I’ve seen it happen to so many people, and I just thought to myself (…) ‘you’re coming for me, I know you are.’ ” They’re making it very obvious through their employees who were coming for me, and so I was like, ‘I’m going to go down swinging and I’m going to stay true to myself.’ “
She tells Shapiro at another point: “When you called, my body is still shaking. It’s devastating, but the thought of this happening to anybody else, especially to somebody who could not handle this the way I can, no, they don’t get to do that. They don’t get to make people feel like that (….) and if I buckle, it’ll make it okay for these companies, who have a history of lying, to be lying and to do this to other people, and they’ve done it to other people, and I’m not going down without a fight.”
HOW WILL THIS PLAY OUT?
Depending on which the political side of the aisle one leans, this situation is either a cause for celebration or one of disgust. Our job at The Direct isn't to provide political commentary, but there's just one recommendation that seems fair to make here: Listen to both sides of the story.
This is a massive story, and for the most part, everyone has already made up their minds on which side of the fence they sit. Disney and Lucasfilm have issued their public statements, and merchandisers like Hasbro have as well.
Gina Carano isn't the first performer to have an issue with Disney and Lucasfilm, though she'll hopefully be the last. As Star Wars fans, we all share a common interest in enjoying the output of the best content possible, and unfortunate episodes like this divide the fan community and make that difficult. As a society and culture, we're as divided as ever, and it is disappointing to see political differences seep into what's supposed to be escapism.
Cancel culture has been a thing for several years now, and with this in mind, Carano chose to stick to her convictions and make the social media posts she deemed appropriate in expressing her values. How those posts are interpreted is up to those who view them, and that ultimately seemed to be the boiling point where Carano's employers chose to let her go.
It's a shame that the two parties couldn't find a middle ground, and it sounds as though Carano had her share of supporters in the Disney and Lucasfilm ranks. If it's true that Carano wasn't contacted about her firing and found out through social media, that's a bush league move on Disney and Lucasfilm's part.
There's merit to the point made about double standards, and there are certainly comparisons that can be drawn, but if Carano wished to remain a member of The Mandalorian's team, then pulling it back on social media would've been the wiser option.
At the end of the day, things didn't work out that way, and The Mandalorian will carry on without Cara Dune. Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni will surely find a way to make the character's absence from the remainder of the series natural, and the show will go on.
Gina Carano's interview on Sunday will likely be just the first of many, and it will be interesting to hear her side of the fiasco in its entirety. While opinions may not be swayed and the outcome of her termination won't be reversed, there will surely be a lot to dissect both in terms of the current culture at Disney and Lucasfilm and how Carano's situation may impact future policies and behavior.