“I’ve always used my voice to fight for, lift up, and empower the LGBTQA community, and use my platform to channel trans voices.”
Rosario Dawson has addressed the backlash of her casting in the second season of The Mandalorian.
The actress, who starred in Marvel’s Netflix television series, recently made her debut on the Star Wars spin-off as fan-favourite character Ahsoka Tano, who was introduced in the Clone Wars animated series.
Although fans have championed for Dawson to play the character for years, her inclusion was met with criticism following allegations against her and her family of transphobia and discrimination.
In 2019, Dedrek Finley said he was hired by Dawson to move from NYC to LA to renovate her home, where he was offered a place to live – rent free – at her mother’s former home in North Hollywood.
He claimed that the dynamic changed “immediately after” he came out as a transgender man and was “misgendered multiple times a day, with deliberate indifference as to the appropriate way to address” him.
At the time, Shawn Holley – the Dawson’s family lawyer – told PEOPLE: “The Dawson family is saddened and disappointed by these false and baseless allegations. We look forward to addressing the plaintiff’s claims in court.”
In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Dawson – who officially came out as LGBTQ+ earlier this year – denied the claims and reiterated her support for the transgender community.
“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,” she told the publication. “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.”
She went on to say: “But I still have a great empathy for him. 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.
“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.”
The first two seasons of The Mandalorian are available to stream now on Disney+.