The dismissal was LucasFilm’s last resort.
The Mandalorian is the most successful series on Disney +, due to the popularity of characters like Grogu, Din Djarin, and Cara Dune. But the Western space will have to continue without Gina Carano. Recently, LucasFilm announced that the actress would no longer work with the company and the decision was the last resort, after a series of controversies.
Why has the controversy resulted in a dismissal?
First of all, we need to understand that Disney is a company that positions itself as a giant of “family-friendly” content. With this in mind, it is in Disney’s financial interest to perpetuate this positive image by moving away from controversies that could tarnish the name of one of its brands.
Playing one of The Mandalorian’s most popular characters, Gina Carano’s face has come to be associated with the Star Wars brand in a very intrinsic way. Soon their public positions end up being linked to the brand by a large part of the public.
Carano was briefed on the impacts of her attitudes several months ago and LucasFilm hoped there would be some common sense on the actress’ part, resulting in an attitude change that never happened.
She remains free to express her opinions, even controversial ones. However, there will always be consequences. And Disney is also free not to want to associate its friendly image with aggressive positions against different parts of the population.
Understanding the controversy
As proof of good faith, LucasFilm was considering promoting Cara Dune as the protagonist. On the eve of Investor Day – an event where Disney announced the Disney + schedule – Carano’s agents were negotiating a pay rise to star in a spinoff series of The Mandalorian. The news would be announced by the actress herself.
In all, ten new series involving the franchise have been announced. But Gina Carano did not show up to the event. His name was not even mentioned.
Weeks earlier, Gina was embroiled in all sorts of controversies on her social media – sparked by the US presidential race.
The actress attacked the wearing of masks, claiming to be a political ruse on the left; alleged electoral fraud, echoing the speech of former President Trump; all after offending transgender people with attacks on the correct use of pronouns.
At the time, LucasFilm decided not to comment publicly on the case, but there was a move to alert the actress to the negative repercussions. In an interview with journalist Bari Weiss, Gina confirmed that LucasFilm had prepared a retraction that the actress had refused to publish. Publicly (via The Hollywood Reporter), she also commented that her teammates, like Pedro Pascal (who has a transgender sister), tried to educate her on the impact of her words. Ginny turned down every new opportunity.
It’s worth mentioning that Carano isn’t the first Disney entrepreneur to be embroiled in a controversy for political reasons. Recently, we’ve been faced with unreasonable statements from Letitia Wright, Black Panther Shuri, Liu Yifei, live-action remake Mulan, and James Gunn, the director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Yet everyone kept their jobs. The real problem in Carano’s case was recidivism.
After months of trying to resolve the situation out of public scrutiny, LucasFilm executives saw no alternative but to sever ties with the actress. The Drop of Water was a publication comparing the lives of Jews who died brutally in the Holocaust to Republicans on social media.
The future of Cara Dune
The end of Gina Carano’s contract sparked an immediate response from other companies linked to the licensing of her character’s products, such as Hasbro and even Amazon, known to be aligned with the political right.
Hollywood Report sources say Cara Dune would no longer appear in The Book of Boba Fett. Still, it is hoped that another actress will be chosen to play the character in the future – a tactic to decouple Carano’s name from the Star Wars brand and ensure the production of new licensed products. However, a source who claims to work at LucasFilm doesn’t believe in the character’s return.
Carano’s dismissal reveals a new LucasFilm policy after harsh criticism of his lack of action to publicly defend John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran against racist attacks from fans in recent years. The company decided to listen to Boyega after the massive public movement in defense of black lives in mid-2020.
It looks like LucasFilm will finally be more active when it comes to diversity from now on.