To say that Disney+'s The Mandalorian made headlines last week would be putting it mildly, with "Chapter 13: The Jedi" writer-director Dave Filoni offering viewers what they've been eagerly anticipating since it was first rumored months ago: Clone Wars hero Ahsoka Tano making her live-action debut courtesy of Rosario Dawson (DMZ). The reaction from the fanbase was strong, swift, and supportive of her take- with talk of seeing more of Dawson's portrayal later in the season, next season, or even in a spinoff series. But along with that attention came the resurfacing of a lawsuit filed against Dawson last year by a longtime family friend accusing the actor and her family of anti-trans bias (a lawsuit Dawson considers baseless and false), with some fans questioning Disney's decision to bring Dawson on board the project in a role seen as inspirational by many.
In her recent interview with Vanity Fair, Dawson was given an opportunity to address the accusations and to speak directly to those "Star Wars' universe fans who believe she may be transphobic. "Well, firstly, I just want to say I understand that, and why people were concerned, and are concerned. I would be too if I heard some of those claims," Dawson explained. "But I mean, as we're seeing right now in these past months, and just recently, actually, the truth is coming out. Every single claim of discrimination has been dismissed by the person who made them, and as you've said, the fact that this is coming from someone I've known since I was a teenager, the better part of my life, and who my family was trying to help as we have many times in the past, it really just makes me sad. But I still have a great empathy for him."
Over the past few months, court records of the lawsuit show that 18 of the 20 submitted claims were withdrawn by the plaintiff voluntarily with no settlement, with the two remaining counts alleging a physical altercation will go before a judge this month to determine if they will move forward or not. But even if all of the claims are withdrawn, there's a good chance that some out there will still question the actor or believe that the lawsuit was settled through shadier means. For Dawson, it comes down to how she's lived her life and the record she has when it comes to giving other voices chances to be heard. "The reason that all of the discrimination claims were dropped is because they didn't happen. I was raised in a very inclusive and loving way, and that's how I've lived my entire life," The Mandalorian actor explained. "I've always used my voice to fight for, lift up, and empower the LGBTQA community, and use my platform to channel trans voices, in fiction and nonfiction work that I've produced and directed. So I feel the record is really clear."