March 9, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Gina Carano enlists Ben Shapiro to talk ‘Star Wars’ ouster

For the latest installment of “Star Wars: Gina Carano Strikes Back,” the ousted “Mandalorian” star has filmed an interview with her new business partner, conservative pundit Ben Shapiro.

The actress and former MMA fighter, who played ex-Rebel shock trooper Cara Dune in the Disney+ flagship series, will appear on “The Ben Shapiro Show: Sunday Special” web series and podcast to address her exit from the “Star Wars” universe and her forthcoming career moves.

Carano’s interview with Shapiro will premiere Sunday on DailyWire.com, YouTube and various podcast platforms. It will drop a day earlier for Daily Wire members, who will also have access to an extended cut of the conversation.

Disney’s Lucasfilm abruptly cut ties with Carano earlier this month over a series of “social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities,” which the studio deemed “abhorrent” and “unacceptable.”

Within days, Carano inked a production deal with Shapiro’s Daily Wire media company, which expanded its right-wing brand beyond news and commentary to include movies and TV.

Carano is set to develop, produce and star in her own project for the Daily Wire’s budding entertainment arm, which aligns with her political beliefs.

“I cried out and my prayer was answered,” Carano told Deadline upon partnering with Shapiro. “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.”

Contrary to the Daily Wire’s announcement, Shapiro’s “Sunday Special” technically will not mark Carano’s first interview since Disney and her former talent agency, UTA, dropped her. On Monday, the actress told former New York Times opinion writer Bari Weiss over email that, “like everyone else,” she discovered that she had been “fired” from “The Mandalorian” via social media.

Carano and Weiss also discussed the final social media post that led to her departure from the “Star Wars” universe; the post compared the experience of being Jewish during the Holocaust to being a modern conservative in the United States.

“I was in utter shock and confusion when certain people said it was anti-Semitic,” she told Weiss, who, like Shapiro, is Jewish. “Then, as I went to take it down, I noticed that the image was not the same as the one people were referencing. I was honestly confused: should I take it down, or leave it up? I still don’t know the answer to that question, because taking it down only makes the mob attack you more.”

Carano has drawn criticism previously for mocking the practices of wearing masks during the pandemic and sharing one’s pronouns (which her “Mandalorian” costar Pedro Pascal does on his Twitter account) as well as perpetuating baseless conspiracy theories about voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election.

Prior to her ousting, Disney had reportedly planned to develop a spinoff starring Carano’s “Mandalorian” character, but that was later scrapped, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Toy company Hasbro also announced it is no longer producing any new action figures of Carano’s Cara Dune character.

Times staff writer Tracy Brown contributed to this report.