Disney Asks Court to Dismiss Lawsuit Filed By Former “Mandalorian” Star Gina Carano

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In its motion, Disney said that its right to “dissociate” from actors and actresses is protected by the First Amendment.


Walt Disney has asked a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by actress Gina Carano, who claims that the company terminated her role in The Mandalorian for expressing politically conservative views on social media.

Carano quickly responded to the motion on social media, taking to X—the platform formerly known as Twitter—to lambast Disney for allegedly attempting to censor her speech and infringe upon her constitutional rights.

“Disney has confirmed what has been known all along, they will fire you if you say anything they disagree with, even if they have to MISREPRESENT, MALIGN, and MISCHARACTERIZE you to do it,” Carano wrote on X.

“They are now on record letting everyone who works for them know that Disney will take any chance they get to control what you say, what you think or they will attempt to destroy your career. Glad we cleared that up,” Carano said. “The First Amendment does not allow Disney to wantonly DISCRIMINATE, which is what they have done in my case and frankly have now admitted they did. If you ever wanted to know what today’s ‘Disney values’ are, they just told you.”

According to Variety, Carano—who had spent two seasons in a starring role on the Disney+ series The Mandalorian—lost her position in February 2021, shortly after comparing the treatment of modern-day conservatives with persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany.

A gavel. Image via Wikimedia Commons via Flickr/user: Brian Turner. (CCA-BY-2.0).

Shortly after losing her spot, Carano filed a lawsuit against the company, saying that Disney had retaliated against her for engaging in protected political speech.

But Disney, in its most recent court filing, argues that its firing of Carano is an extension of its own First Amendment rights to “not associate its artistic expression with Carano’s speech.”

“Disney makes [its motion to dismiss] on the grounds that Disney has a constitutional right to not associate its artistic expression with Carano’s speech, such that the First Amendment provides a complete defense to Carano’s claims,” Walt Disney attorneys wrote in their filing.

The Walt Disney Company, adds FOX News, compared its rights of association to those claimed by the press—an industry in which newspapers and other outlets are typically permitted to restrict editorial positions to applicants with obvious political biases.

According to Disney, Carano regularly engaged in charged public commentary that “came to distract from an undermine Disney’s own expressive efforts.”

The final stray, Disney attorneys said, was Carano comparing the supposed travails of modern-day conservatives with Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

“Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors […] even by children,” Carano wrote in her February 2021 post. “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.”

“How is that any different from hating someone for their political reviews?” Carano asked, apparently without any trace of either irony or self-awareness.

Outside of politics, Carano’s lawsuit also accuses Disney of sex-based discrimination, with her attorneys noting that Mandalorian co-stars Pedro Pascal and Mark Hamill were never penalized for their own comments comparing Donald Trump and his supporters to Nazis.

Disney, though, said that this apparent discrepancy also constitutes a form of free speech.

“The First Amendment protects Disney’s decision to dissociate itself from some speech but not from other, different speech,” the company wrote. “The First Amendment mandates deference to the speaker’s own decisions about what speech to associate with, even if others might consider those decisions ‘internally inconsistent’ […] Carano thus cannot stake out a discrimination claim by alleging that Disney accorded different treatment to different standards by different actors.”

Sources

Disney files motion to dismiss lawsuit from ‘Star Wars’ actress Gina Carano, citing First Amendment

Disney Files Motion to Throw Out Gina Carano Wrongful Termination Suit on First Amendment Grounds

Disney fires back at Gina Carano over ‘Mandalorian’ firing lawsuit: ‘Disney had enough’

Gina Carano Fires Back at Disney Over Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit Over ‘Mandalorian’ Exit: ‘They Will Fire You if You Say Anything They Disagree With’

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