Looks like there’s some drama in the galaxy far, far away! Earlier this year, it was announced that actress Rachel Butera would play General Leia Organa in the animated ‘Star Wars Resistance’ series. However, Carolyn Hennesy was credited in this week’s episode, “Station Theta Black.”
What makes the situation interesting is that Butera may have been replaced following a controversial video she released mocking Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about her assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
In the now-deleted video, Butera said:
“I don’t know if anybody is listening to the Dr. Blasey Ford testimony about Brett Kavanaugh, but this is how I sound. I know it’s a surprise to even me that I talk this way and I’m a doctor and a grown woman. I sound like I’m still back at that high school party…um…I can’t help it, I just have this kind of a voice like a baby, even though I’m a doctor. And I’m on this media circus, political stage, and I have kids myself. I don’t know why I speak with vocal fry, um, but you can listen to my testimony and hear that a grown woman sounds this way. Dr. Blasey Ford, thank you.”
People were understandably confused by the video, and took her comments to be derogatory. Leia Organa is such a strong symbol of female empowerment, and ‘Star Wars’ fans across social media thought Butera’s actions did not line up with the character she was meant to play.
Shortly after deleting her video, Butera tweeted an apology, saying:
“I was by no means mocking a rape victim I am 100% on Christine Blasy Ford’s side! I am just a vocal impressionist and decided to imitate her voice but it was a mistake. I apologize and a I believe ALl women [sic]. I am seriously sorry I honestly didn’t think this would offend anyone I just thought I was imitating the voice.”
Disney seems to have re-cast the character without making an announcing about their decision, a stark contrast to the decision to let former ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ director James Gunn go after old tweets of his resurfaced. As for Butera, the actress has since deleted her Twitter account entirely.
New episodes of ‘Star Wars Resistance’ air on Sunday nights on the Disney Channel.