Lucasfilm announced earlier this year that actress Rachel Butera would be taking on the role of General Leia Organa in the animated Star Wars Resistance, though this week's episode, "Station Theta Black," credits Carolyn Hennesy as the iconic character.
A character getting re-cast, especially in an animated series, isn't necessarily a major issue, yet what makes the situation more interesting is that it's not only such an iconic character, but also that Butera was possibly let go as a result of a controversial video she released earlier this year that appeared to be mocking Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in regards to her assault allegations against Supreme Court then-nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
"I don't know if anybody is listening to the Dr. Blasey Ford testimony about Brett Kavanaugh, but this is how I sound." Butera shared in a video on her Twitter account which she deleted hours later "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."
Understandably, the many details regarding her impersonation came across quite derogatory towards not only Ford, but the entire situation as a whole. Additionally, with Leia Organa being such a beloved character, most of social media found Butera's actions to contradict the character's beliefs.
"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]," Butera shared on Twitter after deleting the video. "I am seriously sorry I honestly didn't think this would offend anyone I just thought I was imitating the voice."
Another interesting point is that Disney seems to have re-cast Organa's appearance with Hennesy (who also voices Leia in LEGO Star Wars: All-Stars) without announcing their actions, either to distance themselves from their talent or to try to minimize the controversy. Currently, Butera is still listed on the series' IMDb page, though her role is listed as "unknown episodes." Butera has since deleted her Twitter account entirely.
Check out new episodes of Star Wars Resistance on Sunday nights on the Disney Channel.
Are you surprise the actress was replaced? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!1comments