Gina Carano is no longer involved with “Star Wars” — a situation that would be a crushing blow to any actor in Hollywood right now. Cut from a Disney project isn’t exactly the most sought-after fortune.
But Carano has a future, and it’s already beginning to blossom. Sure, there remain several questions about what her future entails and who will be following her moving forward. And it’s not going to be an easy road. But she does have a future.
“My body still is shaking,” she told The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro in an interview on “The Ben Shapiro Show.” “It’s still devastating. But the thought of this happening to anybody else, especially somebody who could not handle this the way I can? No — they don’t get to do that. They don’t get to make people feel like that.”
Carano was the star of the popular Disney+ show “The Mandalorian” as the character Cara Dune. She teamed up with the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) in the fight against the Empire. And it seemed like she was a popular figure among the “Star Wars” community, too, since she was slated to receive her own projects in the future.
But Carano faced constant criticism from social media because of her posts about the COVID-19 vaccine, Democrats, face masks and voter fraud, among other political issues, as I wrote for the Deseret News.
One day, she compared those who suffer attacks because of their political beliefs to the treatment of Jewish people by their neighbors during Nazi Germany.
That was enough for Disney and Lucasfilm, who cut ties with Carano.
“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.
But Carano has remained in the headlines. She has a project on the way with the conservative Daily Wire, and she continues to gather support from those inside and outside the “Star Wars” community. So what will her future look like?
The Deseret News reached out to Carano but has not received a response. But Carano has spoken about the news already. And she has vowed to keep up the fight.
“And if I buckle, then little girls and little boys — who are not getting a fair shake at growing up right now — if I buckle, it’s going to make it OK for these companies who have a history of lying, to be lying and do this to other people,” she told Shapiro. “And they’ve done it to other people. And I’m not going down without a fight.”
But what will the fight mean for her?
What Gina Carano symbolizes
Brand and reputation management expert Eric Schiffer has been following the Carano news for awhile, and he’s been taking note of what the recent scandal will do to her brand.
He noticed that Carano has become a major figure for those who want to see conservative media. She was an actress with conservative beliefs appearing in a Disney product, which is often seen as a piece of liberal Hollywood.
So when she got fired from Lucasfilm, it became not only a Hollywood storyline. It became a moment for conservatives to consider where they are in Hollywood’s eyes.
Schiffer said Carano “created this lightning bolt, emotional connection with the right because she became a further piece of evidence to support cancel culture meets suppression of freedom of speech where conservatives view Hollywood as out to get anything or anyone that would be out of the line of what is ‘appropriate in the culture.’”
Because of her connection to conservatives, Carano has a chance to last for even longer than her “Mandalorian” run might suggest. She has become something of an icon, which will extend her time in the spotlight.
He said Carano “becomes this lightning rod, and it won’t be harder for her to come back in Hollywood because now she’s got this political pixie dust that surrounds her.”
That said, it’s not like she’ll start any major project anytime soon. It’s unlikely she’ll get a lead role in “Star Wars” again, or a Marvel project, since those are all owned by Disney.
“She put herself into this box that, in the age of political faceoff, doesn’t serve her to be able to make a more rapid re-entry.”
“She’ll have to choose whether she wants to shift into a political career or pull back and allow for time to deal with decision-makers that can greenlight her involvement in cinematic adventures with those who harbor left-oriented political views.”
What does the future look like?
Schiffer said the backlash will keep her alive among conservative circles. She will be a star for a period of time in conservative films and media, he said.
“Unless she’s going to be bringing, you know, critical commentary. But that’s really not her skill set,” Schiffer said.
“The Daily Wire is helping make one of my dreams — to develop and produce my own film — come true,” Carano said, according to Deadline. “I cried out and my prayer was answered. I am sending out a direct message of hope to everyone living in fear of cancellation by the totalitarian mob. I have only just begun using my voice which is now freer than ever before, and I hope it inspires others to do the same. They can’t cancel us if we don’t let them.”
The Daily Wire co-founder Ben Shapiro told Deadline that Carano’s hiring represents a move to combat Disney in a way.
“We could not be more excited to be working with Gina Carano, an incredible talent dumped by Disney and Lucasfilm for offending the authoritarian Hollywood left. This is what Daily Wire exists to do: provide an alternative not just for consumers, but for creators who refuse to bow to the mob.”
“We’re eager to bring Gina’s talent to Americans who love her, and we’re just as eager to show Hollywood that if they want to keep canceling those who think differently, they’ll just be helping us build the Xwing to take down their Death Star,” he added.
“I’ve been through so much, and I’ve seen so much now, clearly, of the bullying that’s been taking place, and I saw it before,” she said in the interview, according to Deadline. “I’m not the only one that’s ever been bullied by this company, and I know that so deeply.”
Schiffer said it’s important for Carano to avoid straying too much to one side of the political aisle, though, because it could damage her acting career.
“She’s gonna want to just stay neutral and allow time to pass and, and then try to enter back into projects but in choosing kind of this initial political path. I think it cripples her with opportunities that she might otherwise have had access to.”
“So, in essence, someone that’s an MMA fighter that’s choking people out has choked herself out with opportunities on the left, but empowered herself with the right,” he said.