The reception to Star Wars: The Last Jedi saw several people behind the film face a torrent of abuse from trolls and disgruntled fans on social media – and few more severely than Kelly Marie Tran. The actor became the first woman of colour to star in the saga, portraying resistance fighter Rose Tico in Rian Johnson’s sequel – but she became a major target of racist and hurtful comments in the wake of the film’s release.
Months after deleting her Instagram, Tran has now responded for the first time – penning an article in the New York Times titled ‘I Won’t Be Marginalized by Online Harassment’. “For months, I went down a spiral of self-hate, into the darkest recesses of my mind, places where I tore myself apart, where I put their words above my own self-worth,” Tran writes. “And it was then that I realized I had been lied to. I had been brainwashed into believing that my existence was limited to the boundaries of another person’s approval.”
She concludes the article in defiance, writing: “You might know me as Kelly. I am the first woman of color to have a leading role in a Star Wars movie. I am the first Asian woman to appear on the cover of Vanity Fair. My real name is Loan. And I am just getting started.”
Tran is currently shooting Star Wars: Episode IX, with Rose returning alongside the rest of the Resistance in the final fight against the First Order. The concluding chapter of the current Skywalker trilogy will arrive in cinemas in December 2019.
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