When Disney fired Gina Carano from The Mandalorian over her controversial social media posts, they did so as exacting as possible. They even went so far as to cancel toys for her character, Cara Dune. As far as anyone can tell, Disney wants to make clear that Cara Dune is over, they aren’t associated with Carano or anything she has to say, and the Star Wars universe is moving on without anything more to do with the actress. After all of this, it may then surprise many people that as Disney puts in their campaign for the Emmy’s, they are submitting Carano her role on The Mandalorian in the category for Supporting Actress In A Drama Series. Apparently, Lucasfilm may have decided Gina Carano’s social media behavior was “abhorrent and unacceptable”, but an Emmy is an Emmy and they’re not passing up their chance for a win.
Why would Disney do that after everything? Well, the first thing to note here is that other people could have submitted Gina Carano for an Emmy. In fact, she could have submitted herself, as Gwendoline Christie famously did when HBO didn’t submit her for her role on Game of Thrones. However, Disney has publicly made it clear that they are doing it themselves. In fact, a representative for Carano told VanityFair that the actress’s team was actually shocked. They didn’t expect that after everything else and did not know it was coming.
There are a lot of different reasons a studio or a network will make the decision to submit someone for an Emmy. Sometimes, this can be due to a contractual obligation. There can be other factors as well, such as what other projects they’re submitting to the Emmy’s. And, of course, there is how likely it is that they believe an actor will win. An Emmy win is good for everyone. Is it that simple when it comes to Gina Carano and Disney? Maybe? But their relationship has been so fraught that it seems like there was likely a big conversation at the studio before this decision moved forward. The likelihood of her winning and the other names they were submitting were all likely big factors.
However, it seems like the chances are about zero that there was not a big discussion about the optics for this decision. Perhaps Disney thought it would make them look better? Like, “Hey, we have no hard feelings. We can’t associate with Gina Carano anymore, but hey, we did like her work as Cara Dune, just not her social media.” Perhaps they thought this would make them look like the bigger person, so to speak.
One thing is clear: it seems very unlikely that Disney will come out and tell us all of their reasons for why they submitted Gina Carano for an Emmy. If they address it, they may simply say that it’s a testament to her previous work on the show, but even that seems unlikely. Staying mostly silent on the Carano issue has been their policy so far. That’s part of what makes the Emmy submission so shocking. If they were so set on cutting all ties with her, why do this? Why now?
Fans of The Mandalorian holding on to hope that they may see Cara Dune again may find this particularly painful. Only days ago, Gina Carano posted a photo on social media that felt vague, Star Wars themed, like a possible sign of her character’s return. The actress has celebrated Star Wars day like many other actors associated with the franchise, which was normal behavior, but still made fans wonder and hope. While it seems like Disney has cut ties and the story for Cara Dune is over, these little hints feel like paper cuts to fans who wish things were different. For now, we’ll have to assume that Disney isn’t including Carano in their Emmy nominations as a sign that they want her back. Instead, perhaps, it’s a tribute to the character she played that many loved for so long, like a fitting goodbye.