'Mandalorian' actress axed over divisive social media posts

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Gina Carano, star of the hit Star Wars TV series "The Mandalorian," has been dropped by Lucasfilm after sharing "abhorrent" social media posts on topics including the Holocaust.

The departure of former mixed martial arts fighter Carano -- who has long stoked controversy with outspoken political views -- follows an online #FireGinaCarano campaign, but has also drawn accusations of "cancel culture" from her defenders.

"Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future," a Lucasfilm spokesperson said in a statement to AFP.

"Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable."

Carano's character Cara Dune, a female warrior, had appeared in seven "Mandalorian" episodes across two seasons -- only the show's titular star, played by Pedro Pascal, featured more.

With Dune still alive at the end of season two, and a recently announced "Rangers of the New Republic" spinoff rumored to feature the character, too, Carano's removal was seen as a welcome U-turn by some fans.

"Woo-hoo! I'm getting my @disneyplus back because they finally decided to #FireGinaCarano," tweeted one fan.

The post drawing the most ire was a quote Carano shared on Instagram claiming "Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors."

The message goes on to compare the treatment of Jews during the Holocaust to "hating someone for their political views" today.

Carano has previously shared posts claiming, "You are more likely to be assaulted for being a Trump supporter than your race in America today," and "If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes journalism."

She has also shared misinformation about mask wearing and voter fraud.

According to trade website Deadline, Carano has also "parted ways" with giant Hollywood talent agency UTA.

Neither Carano's representatives nor UTA immediately responded to AFP's request for comment.

Some fans rallied to Carano's defense, with one widely shared tweet using the hashtag #WeLoveGinaCarano writing:

"This is absolutely pathetic to see a company the size of Disney bend the knee to a small group of mindless twitter idiots that would never even buy their products in the first place."

Carano also drew support from Texas Republican senator Ted Cruz.

"Texan Gina Carano broke barriers in the Star Wars universe: not a princess, not a victim, not some emotionally tortured Jedi. She played a woman who kicked ass & who girls looked up to. She was instrumental in making Star Wars fun again," he wrote.

"Of course Disney canceled her."