Star Wars Actor Reportedly Wiped Instagram After Months Of Harassment
Kelly Marie Tran was the first woman of colour to play a lead role in the Star Wars universe and "fans" of the series made her life hell for it.
The Star Wars franchise has always been a very simple story of good and evil. It ain't that deep. There's a big, fascist Empire full of terrible helmets and even more terrible people, but there was always hope for the universe.
A scrappy, lovable group of resistance fighters who stood up to the Empire and who, up until recently, were mostly white dudes.
When The Force Awakens hit screens in 2015 we saw a new breed of Star Wars characters and as a result, a new breed of fan. These fans were the ones who cried out that the cast was becoming too diverse. A woman and a black man as lead characters? What was the universe coming to?
The toxic fandom really reached its pinnacle with 2017's The Last Jedi, a film that had the gall to include more than two prominent female characters. There was an intense backlash to The Last Jedi, with many so-called "fans" threatening boycotts and demanding apologies from the director.
To boil down the backlash to it just being a group of childish -- often racist -- misogynists is a tad reductive. The film also suffered from not pandering to fan theories, it quite literally burned the history of the older films handing it off to a new generation.
We got answers to burning questions like "who are Rey's parents?" and "who is Snoke?" -- they were nobodies and who cares, he turned into a kebab.
Manbabies were so outraged they created a 46-minute cut of The Last Jedi featuring only the big strong boys in the film. They called it the "De-Feminised Fanedit" which cut out anything that reflected positively on female characters, or moments that demeaned men in the film.
These fans were attempting to police what was canon in the Star Wars universe, their version of it at least. The film was seen as "too progressive" and panned as the "worst Star Wars film" (despite Phantom Menace being a 133 minute film mostly about tax disputes and trade tariffs).
It's important to note that these loud sooks are a minority in the fandom, but they were a minority who engaged in a months-long campaign to attack those involved with the film.
One victim of this utterly gross backlash and the rise of this vocal subset of fans is Kelly Marie Tran, who played Rose Tico in Last Jedi.
Tran was the first woman of colour to play a lead role in a Star Wars film and for that she suffered months of harassment on social media.
Rose's character page on the fansite Wookieepedia was locked down after the bio was edited to be insanely racist and offensive.
Now it's been claimed that Tran has wiped her social media due to this harassment. It's been happening for months. Her Instagram used to be a place where she would share her joy of being cast in the franchise and her gratitude for the experience.
Just before the film was released Tran posted an image on Instagram captioning it, "I avoided public social media for a long time purely because I was afraid. I was terrified of being picked apart, of being scrutinised, of being seen".
"It took me a year of self-work—and some really amazing, supportive friends—to make me realise that it's none of my business if people like me or not. It doesn't change my goals, my dreams, what I want to do with the opportunities I've been given."
Tran's empty Instagram bio now simply reads, "Afraid, but doing it anyway".
"I didn’t sign up for people to go, 'You’re amazing!' But I didn’t sign up for them to say things like 'Your skin is shit,' either."
So far neither Tran or the official Star Wars accounts have released an official statement on the account being wiped.
Featured image: Lucasfilm.