Lucasfilm, the production company in charge of the “Star Wars” series, confirmed the decision in a statement shared with The Washington Post late Wednesday after Gizmodo first reported the news.
“Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future,” the company said in a statement. “Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable.”
The announcement to sever ties with Carano, who played Cara Dune on the critically acclaimed series, comes after widespread backlash this week to an Instagram post that featured the graphic photo of a Jewish woman being beaten in Nazi Germany.
“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 simply for being Jews,” Carano shared on her Instagram story on Tuesday. “How is that any different from hating someone for their political views?”
As Carano has been an outspoken supporter of former president Donald Trump and has often complained about the backlash against her conservative opinions, many critics took the post as her equating Republicans with Jews in Nazi Germany.
The post has since been deleted, but not before fans captured the moment and shared it widely. Critics called for the actress to be fired for her online rhetoric under the hashtag #FireGinaCarano, which trended on Twitter on Wednesday.
In addition to the Disney Plus show dropping her, Carano has also been released by United Talent Agency and ID PR, according to the Wrap.
Neither Disney nor Carano immediately returned messages from The Post late on Wednesday.
Carano, 38, first gained fame in the late 2000s as a decorated mixed martial artist, with her popularity in the fighting world leading some to call her “the face of women’s MMA.” Upon retirement in 2009, Carano transitioned into acting, appearing in films such as “Fast & Furious 6” and “Deadpool.”
She came to play Dune after producer Jon Favreau, the showrunner of “The Mandalorian,” created the character with the MMA legend in mind. Favreau tried out no other actresses for the role and even named the character after Carano. Her portrayal as a battle-hardened mercenary was met with positive reviews, with many lauding her on-screen performance as an inspiration for young women.
“The Mandalorian’s Cara Dune Is The Feminist Badass We Needed From Star Wars,” read a 2019 headline from the entertainment website PopSugar.
But as her fame grew over the past year, critics took note of her history of controversial and derogatory social media posts. In August, Carano blasted “cowards and bullies” for criticizing her lack of public support for Black Lives Matter and liked posts disparaging the movement. The next month, she was accused of ridiculing transgender pronouns by adding “boop/bop/beep” to her Twitter profile. She pushed back against critics who accused her of being transphobic, saying she did it to expose “the bullying mentality of the mob.”
“I decided to put 3 VERY controversial words in my bio.. beep/bop/boop,” she tweeted. “I’m not against trans lives at all. They need to find less abusive representation.”
She later walked back that sentiment, citing a conversation with actor Pedro Pascal of “The Mandalorian,” in which she said her co-star “helped me understand why people were putting them in their bios.”
In November, she began echoing Trump’s baseless claims of widespread voter fraud. In other posts, she mocked mask mandates to stop the spread of the coronavirus. She had previously called for churches and businesses to reopen and criticized pandemic restrictions.
“Democratic government leaders now [recommend] we all wear blindfolds along with masks so we can’t see what’s really going on,” said a meme she shared on Twitter.
As fans called for Carano to be fired following her anti-mask sentiment, her social media posts reportedly cost her a larger role in Disney’s plans. As the Hollywood Reporter noted, Carano was slated to star in her own “Star Wars” spinoff, but Disney scrapped the idea after her November tweets on the election and coronavirus went viral. Carano, who later announced she had joined the conservative app Parler, went on to mock the coronavirus vaccine and the legitimacy of mail-in voting in December.
It’s unclear whether her role will be recast in “The Mandalorian,” which is in preproduction for a third season that’s expected to begin filming this year.