Mandalorian Actress Files Suit Against Disney For Wrongful Termination

Vincent Jackson
Vincent Jackson

Earlier this week, the former Mandalorian actress and MMA fighter Gina Carano filed suit in federal court against Disney, alleging that she was wrongfully terminated and the victim of gender discrimination due to her political posts on social media.

The Complaint begins:

“A short time ago in a galaxy not so far away, Defendants made it clear that only one orthodoxy in thought, speech, or action was acceptable in their empire, and that those who dared to question or failed to fully comply would not be tolerated. And so it was with Carano. After two highly acclaimed seasons on The Mandalorian as Rebel ranger Cara Dune, Carano was terminated from her role as swiftly as her character’s peaceful home planet of Alderaan had been destroyed by the Death Star in an earlier Star Wars film.”

Interestingly, Carano has only brought claims under California state law for wrongful discharge, refusal to hire, and sex discrimination.  California has expansive protections for employees who suffer adverse employment actions due to their political beliefs.  One statute provides:

No employer shall make, adopt, or enforce any rule, regulation, or policy:

(a) Forbidding or preventing employees from engaging or participating in politics or    from becoming candidates for public office.

(b) Controlling or directing, or tending to control or direct the political activities or affiliations of employees.

Cal. Lab. Code § 1101.

Another protects employees from even the threat of adverse action due to political beliefs:

No employer shall coerce or influence or attempt to coerce or influence his employees through or by means of threat of discharge or loss of employment to adopt or follow or refrain from adopting or following any particular course or line of political action or political activity.

Cal. Lab. Code § 1102.

Based on the statements in the Complaint, which allege repeated pressure from company representatives on Carano to refrain from airing and/or change her political views, these statutes appear tailor-made for this case.  This matter will bear watching for employers as a potential test case for how not to treat an employee with different political views.

And the stakes are particularly high for Star Wars fans.  Before her termination, Carano was slated to reprise her Cara Dune character in another spin-off, Rangers of the New Republic.  Disney was forced to axe the show after terminating Carano.  The complaint seeks, among other remedies, reinstatement of Carano to her previous position without loss of pay. 

No Comments
prev next
Email Updates

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.