Over the last decade, Gina Carano successfully segued from a career as an MMA fighter to a career as an actor, finding mainstream success in action movies before hitting the jackpot by landing a role in The Mandalorian, as ex-Rebel soldier Cara Dune. Carano had it made. She was on a hit TV show with rumors she would get her own spinoff in the Star Wars universe, and all she had to do to maintain it was go to work and eat her food but could she do that? No, she could not. Since The Mandalorian debuted in late 2019, #FireGinaCarano has trended several times on social media, usually for transphobic nonsense (which cannot possibly have gone over well with Pedro Pascal, who has been supportive of his sister, Lux Pascal, after she recently came out as trans), but also for anti-mask and voter fraud nonsense, too. Most recently, though, #FireGinaCarano trended because she posted an anti-Semitic story on her Instagram. It has since been deleted, but the North and the internet remember. Last night, io9 broke the news that Carano is no longer part of the Star Wars universe. Lucasfilm fired her.
The statement obtained by io9 reads: “Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future. Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable.”
The Hollywood Reporter added some more details, including that Lucasfilm was considering a Cara Dune spin-off but scuppered those plans after a previous round of #FireGinaCarano in November. An unnamed source also told THR that “they have been looking for a reason to fire her for two months, and today was the final straw.” I don’t really know why it took so long, why the transphobia alone wasn’t enough, as it became clear months ago that Carano was poison and the non-toxic side of the Star Wars fandom was not interested in supporting her. Also not interested in supporting Carano? Her agency, UTA. They dropped her just a few hours after Lucasfilm’s statement came out.
There are a couple things to clarify here. One is something Carano said in December on the Drunk 3P0 Youtube channel. In that video, she talks about the “media smear campaign” against her, and says, “People need to be OK with having conversations. […] What’s wrong with having a different opinion?” Variations of this sentiment crop up constantly these days, given the politically divisive times we live in, but it is complete bullsh-t. Everyone is okay with conversations, and different opinions are fine. I mean, you might get into an internet fight over the latest Marvel or Star Wars thing, but generally, that sh-t is fine, and no one really cares. For instance, if you say that you do not like the latest Marvel thing, you’re not going to get, say, fired from your job. People understand that is the kind of opinion that doesn’t really matter: it is harmless.
But transphobia is not harmless. Anti-Semitism is not harmless. Propagating baseless claims of voter fraud in the US election is not harmless (see also: the insurrection of January 6). Some opinions ARE HARMFUL, and those are the ones that usually land people in hot water. Harmful opinions work to spread hate and fear, or worse, to affect political change that makes the lives of the marginalized and otherized worse. There is only one side of this situation that keeps saying everyone needs to chill out and “be okay” with different opinions, and it’s the side of people whose opinions work to limit, if not outright obliterate, a tolerant and equal society. “Support my opinion” is a huge red flag that the opinion is probably going to result in harm to a marginalized person. Arguing over which is better, chocolate cake or red velvet cake isn’t going to hurt anyone. Arguing that trans people don’t deserve to exist is DEFINITELY going to hurt someone.
The other thing that bugs me is how many outlets are calling this a “social media controversy”. No. A social media controversy is what color a dress is. Bad tweets are things like, “I don’t like sweets,” and, “Elevator music is good.” Over the course of several months, Gina Carano said dehumanizing things about several groups of people, and it caught up to her. I challenge anyone who thinks this is a case of “bad tweets” to go into their place of work and say something anti-Semitic and see how long their job lasts. There are consequences to hate speech, and Gina Carano ran into them. In fact, she drove herself directly at those consequences at 110 miles per hour with the top down and no seatbelt on. If she HAD been online just tweeting about how she doesn’t like sweets, she would still be involved with Star Wars and maybe even headlining her own Disney+ series. This is not a case of “bad tweets”. This is the inevitable end of a person saying harmful things in public and her employer showed her the door. Meanwhile, actual human daisy chain Pedro Pascal has been announced as the star of HBO’s The Last of Us adaptation, uniting him with fellow Game of Thrones alum Bella Ramsey. It’s amazing what not being a prejudiced trash bag will do for your career.