When Disney cut ties with actress and former MMA competitor Gina Carano on February 10, it looked to many like a sudden move in response to a single social media post. According to a new story from The Hollywood Reporter, though, Carano’s exit from the Mandalorian and Disney was months in the making.
Exactly two months earlier, on December 10, Disney unveiled a whole host of Marvel and Star Wars content, including ten new Star Wars shows. Among those was Rangers of the New Republic. At the time, we and many others assumed Rangers was a vehicle for Carano and her character Cara Dune. Carano appeared in seven episodes of The Mandalorian across the show’s two seasons, and her story arc in the second had her picking up a Rangers of the New Republic badge, seemingly contemplating a new path for herself.
Indeed, that was exactly what Disney had planned, and THR says her agency, UTA, was negotiating for a pay raise for the actress, who was reportedly pulling in $25,000 to $50,000 per episode of The Mandalorian. Carano was meant to be part of that presentation, but an anonymous source told THR that Disney pulled her off the presentation. Sources say that Disney had repeatedly warned Carano even before the February 10 tweets Disney described as “abhorrent and unacceptable.” Carano had previously posted tweets mocking mask wearing during the coronavirus pandemic, promoting misinformation about voter fraud, and expressing transphobic views. Those tweets led to the initial warnings, while her February 10 tweet comparing American conservatives to Jewish people just before the Holocaust is what sealed Carano’s fate. The decision was reportedly made by Lucasfilm executives, going higher than Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau.
A few Disney stars have flirted with disaster in recent months. Black Panther star Letitia Wright retweeted a video questioning the safety of the coronavirus vaccine in December, and deleted her Twitter in response to the blowback from the post. It’s hard not to think about James Gunn here. Disney had fired Gunn in response to offensive tweets he’d posted nearly a decade previous and had already apologized for before they were resurfaced by right-wing activists and personalities. In that case, Disney moved quickly in response to the tweets, only to re-hire Gunn a year later to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Since Disney pushed her out, Carano has announced a partnership to produce a film with Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire, stating that she has “only just begun using my voice which is now freer than ever before.” The future of the Cara Dune character is in question, though THR says that its sources suggest recasting is likely. Season 3 of The Mandalorian is a ways off, likely hitting in 2022 after the Book of Boba Fett series announced as a stinger to the Mandalorian’s Season 2 finale, so Lucasfilm and Disney have plenty of time to make a decision.