Former MMA star Gina Carano has thanked fans after they mobilized in the face of the latest campaign for the Star Wars actress to be fired over her stance on issues including the Covid-19 pandemic.
Carano – who stars as Cara Dune in the popular Star Wars spinoff The Mandalorian – found herself in the crosshairs of the cancel culture hordes again last week after the official Star Wars Twitter account shared a post in honor of those who have lost their lives during the coronavirus pandemic.
The 38-year-old Carano has been branded an “anti-masker” after sharing memes on her social media accounts which appeared to oppose the mass wearing of facemasks despite their widely reported benefits in helping slow the spread of the disease.
After the tweet from Star Wars, fans mobilized to spread the hashtag #FireGinaCarano – renewing attempts for the actress to be dismissed by Disney, makers of smash-hit show The Mandalorian.
aren’t y’all the ones who still have Gina Carano, an anti-masker, in their employ????
— abby 🦥 (@abbymcecilia) January 20, 2021
But the latest wave of indignation drew support from an opposing hashtag – #WeLoveCaraDune – which was trending over the weekend after a call to action from fans.
While supporting the character rather than explicitly backing Carano, the star still took to social media to offer thanks to fans for their backing.
“I see and feel the love today,” Carano wrote in a message to her 1.5 million Instagram followers, which was accompanied by a video message.
“This #welovecaradune movement makes me a bit emotional actually… to the precious people involved in doing this… you picked me up when I was down. You’ve blessed my heart more than you could ever imagine…”
Carano has fended off previous calls for her to be fired, also facing a backlash for her apparent support of Donald Trump’s claims that there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 US presidential election.
Responding to her detractors, Carano has previously suggested she is being targeted merely for voicing alternative views.
“People need to be OK with having conversations. With having difficult conversations, with having different opinions. What’s wrong with having a different opinion?” the actress was quoted as saying in January.
Before her emergence as an actress, Carano was credited with being the first true star in women’s mixed martial arts, rising to prominence in a brief professional career – mostly for EliteXC and Strikeforce – between 2006 and 2009.
She retired from the sport soon after the first loss of her career against Brazilian legend Cris Cyborg in 2009, stepping away from the cage with a 7-1 pro record.
Carano soon made the switch to the silver screen with appearances in Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire and was also a hit in the 2016 movie Deadpool with her character Angel Dust.
Carano mulled a return to mixed martial arts in 2014 to face then-UFC champ Ronda Rousey, but Dana White later announced that talks had stalled.
Carano’s character in The Mandalorian has been hailed as a huge success, and even rivals the massively popular Baby Yoda as a favorite among fans.
The Mandalorian is reportedly set to start filming season three in Los Angeles in April, with Carano still set to reprise her role as Cara Dune – much to the annoyance of her baying online critics.