Texas Sen. Ted Cruz condemned The Walt Disney Company for capitulating to cancel culture. The Republican lawmaker defended fellow Texan and The Mandalorian star Gina Carano, whom the media giant fired over her social media posts. Cruz said in a Feb. 12 tweet that Carano played a key role in “making Star Wars fun again” and expressed his dismay over her termination.
Cruz’s tweet followed the former mixed martial arts superstar’s termination from The Mandalorian, which airs on the Disney+ streaming service. She appeared as bounty hunter Cara Dune alongside Game of Thrones and Narcos star Pedro Pascal, who plays the titular role. Her firing came after she shared a controversial story on Instagram comparing conservatives in the current time to Jews in Nazi Germany.
The post Carano shared on Instagram said: “Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers, but by their neighbors … even by children. Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them for simply being Jews.”
She captioned the post with a question: “How is that any different from hating someone for their political views?” The former MMA fighter also shared a post of a person wearing multiple masks with the caption “Meanwhile in California.” Both posts have since been deleted.
Backlash toward Carano was swift despite her deletion of both posts. NPR reported that a Lucasfilm spokesperson confirmed the actress’ termination.
“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,” Lucasfilm said in a statement.
The studio founded by filmmaker George Lucas – which Disney eventually acquired – is behind Star Wars and The Mandalorian. The latter is a spin-off of the larger Star Wars franchise. Talent management firm United Talent Agency has also severed ties with Carano.
The Texas lawmaker wrote in his tweet that Carano “broke barriers in the Star Wars universe” by portraying someone “who kicked ass” instead of portraying victims or “emotionally tortured” characters. The actress and former MMA fighter is no stranger to controversy on social media, being embroiled in a few issues of her own.
In September 2020, she changed her social media bio to the words “beep/bop/boop” following harassment by the trans community. She later explained in a tweet that her bio did not mock trans people. Rather, it was meant to expose “the bullying mentality of the mob that has taken over the voices of many genuine cases.” (Related: Ricky Gervais SLAMS Liberals’ “Cancel Culture,” says it is a “new form of fascism”.)
Three days after the November 2020 election, Carano urged lawmakers to “clean up the election process” by enacting anti-vote fraud laws and “flushing out” the fraudulent votes. A subsequent tweet by Carano mocked mask-wearing mandates ordered by Democrat officials amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
A source close to Lucasfilm said Carano’s removal from The Mandalorian was already in the works for some time now. “[The studio has] been looking for a reason to fire her for two months, and [her posts were] the final straw,” the source told The Hollywood Report.
Carano’s firing clearly contrasts with Disney’s actions toward James Gunn. The Guardians of the Galaxy director was fired in 2018 over offensive tweets that joked about rape and pedophilia. Former Disney Chairman Alan Horn announced Gunn’s firing, saying that the director’s tweets were “indefensible.” Horn said in a statement that time: “The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible [and] inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed out business relationship with him.” (Related: Where’s the media outrage? Disney movie director James Gunn has LONG history of “joking” about his child rape fantasies.)
Disney eventually re-hired Gunn to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 following an open letter petitioning Gunn’s return. The director’s public apology in July 2018 following the tweets played a big role in the decision to re-hire him. Gunn thanked Disney and his supporters in a March 2019 tweet, saying he was “excited to continue making films that investigate the ties of love that bind us all.”