Three months ago, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” actress Kelly Marie Tran left social media – erasing her Instagram account in the process. That exit came in the wake of many months of racist and sexist comments aimed at Tran for her involvement in the Lucasfilm sci-fi franchise and at the film itself.
Combined with nasty abuse thrown at co-star Daisy Ridley and director Rian Johnson, conversations began in regards to ‘toxic fandom’ – a growing problem that has seen apparent fans forcing stars off social media with cyber bullying and abuse tactics.
In a new essay for The New York Times, Tran has finally spoken and says she is not backing down and that the whole experience has given her a new perspective on her career and her identity:
“This is what it is to grow up as a person of color in a white-dominated world. This is what it is to be a woman in a society that has taught its daughters that we are worthy of love only if we are deemed attractive by its sons. This is the world I grew up in, but not the world I want to leave behind.
I want to live in a world where children of color don’t spend their entire adolescence wishing to be white. I want to live in a world where women are not subjected to scrutiny for their appearance, or their actions, or their general existence. I want to live in a world where people of all races, religions, socioeconomic classes, sexual orientations, gender identities and abilities are seen as what they have always been: human beings.
…I know the opportunity given to me is rare. I know that I now belong to a small group of privileged people who get to tell stories for a living, stories that are heard and seen and digested by a world that for so long has tasted only one thing. I know how important that is. And I am not giving up. 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 will next be seen in “Star Wars: Episode IX” which is currently in production and will reportedly film through until February ahead of a December 20th 2019 release.