Some fans of The Mandalorian are calling for the show to fire Gina Carano, who plays Cara Dune, after several controversial social media posts and a new Mandalorian episode that finds her at its center.
Carano has made social media posts that spread conspiracy theories about mask wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic and mocked Twitter profiles that include preferred pronouns.
The weekend saw both #FireGinaCarano and #StandWithGinaCarano trend.
Slowly but surely, the ever-expanding Star Wars universe has started to resemble the diversity of its fans. Viewers who aren’t straight, white men can see themselves reflected in a growing roster of inclusive characters. Unfortunately, that can be a fraught process, as Star Wars die-hards are finding with the case of Gina Carano and The Mandalorian.
In the Disney+ series, Carano plays Cara Dune, a hardened mercenary who has no problem with brawling. Fans gravitated to the character in part because as played by the muscular MMA fighter, they saw a kickass woman in a world still largely populated by men; cosplayers in particular found a new character they could more comfortably inhabit. And for a while, Carano seemed to appreciate the excitement around her portrayal, tweeting support to fans.
Recently, though, that relationship has soured—at least for some viewers. And, as with so many issues these days, the problems began on social media. Carano had jousted with fans and activists on Twitter who asked her to use her platform to make comments supportive of Black Lives Matter and against racism. She refused, eventually suggesting those pressuring her to do so were “cowards and bullies.”
Soon after, activists asked her to include her preferred pronouns on her Twitter bio as a way of normalizing the practice and supporting trans people, instead changed it to include “boop/bop/beep.” Called out for what seemed like dismissive mockery, she responded: “They’re mad cuz I won’t put pronouns in my bio to show my support for trans lives. After months of harassing me in every way. I decided to put 3 VERY controversial words in my bio.. beep/bop/boop.” She again claimed to be standing up against “the bullying mentality of the mob.”
Beep/bop/boop has zero to do with mocking trans people 🤍& 💯 to do with exposing the bullying mentality of the mob that has taken over the voices of many genuine causes.
I want people to know you can take hate with a smile. So BOOP you for misunderstanding. 😊 #AllLoveNoHate pic.twitter.com/Qe48AiZyOL
— Gina Carano 🕯 (@ginacarano) September 14, 2020
Since then, Carano has only become more controversial, tweeting support for conspiracy theories around mask wearing and evidence-free claims about voter fraud. That’s led to the #FireGinaCarano hashtag trending on Twitter, which peaked on Saturday after the debut of a new Carano-starring episode of The Mandalorian. In response, #StandWithGinaCarano also began trending among fans who feel a call for her firing goes too far.
Carano had already announced plans to move to Parler, a social media platform designed as an alternative to Twitter and Facebook and financed in part by right-wing heiress Rebekah Mercer. She joins Sean Hannity, Ted Cruz, the Proud Boys, and other conservative figures who use and endorse the platform, though most of them also maintain Twitter presences—as does Carano.
It remains to be seen whether Disney will respond to the controversy. But at least one reviewer noted that, in the world of the “The Mandalorian,” the writers have left an opening for Cara Dune—and Carano—to leave the show.
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