Star Wars star Kelly Marie Tran has finally spoken out for the first time about her ordeals with racial and sexist trolling, which prompted her to delete her Instagram account.
Kelly Tran, 29, was the first woman of Asian descent to play a leading part in the famous film franchise, but she had to delete all her posts from Instagram back in June after being targeted by online trolls.
Director Rian Johnson defended the actress, as did Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill, but Kelly made no comment about the online abuse until recently.
Kelly Tran had a tell-all story published in The New York Times, where she finally broke the silence on the abuse, saying it reminded her of the struggles she faced trying fit in whilst growing up in the America.
“Their words reinforced a narrative I had heard my whole life,” she shared. “That I was ‘other’, that I didn’t belong, that I wasn’t good enough, simply because I wasn’t like them.”
“It reinforced within me rules that were written before I was born, rules that made my parents deem it necessary to abandon their real names and adopt American ones – Tony and Kay – so it was easier for others to pronounce, a literal erasure of culture that still has me aching to the core.”
The actress also criticised those who continue to condemn people of different races, religions, genders and sexual orientations.
Also falling victim to vicious online abuse campaign were Kelly Tran’s Star Wars colleagues, including Daisy Ridley, who also deleted her Instagram for a similar same reason, and franchise producer Kathleen Kennedy, who was accused of “killing Star Wars” by toxic and rather childish Star Wars super fans for introducing more female characters since the release of ‘The Force Awakens’.
Kelly Tran says she is now going to use her position in Hollywood to push for more tolerance, diversity and equality in the both the industry and society, stating, “I know how important that is and I am not giving up.”
She then concluded her New York Times piece with: “I am the first woman of colour 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.”
Kelly Marie Tran will return for ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’, which is due for release on December 20th, 2019. Despite the unpleasantries of these events, it looks as though Kelly won’t be giving up on her role anytime soon, and rightly so.
Story by Emily Clark
Featured Image Credit: BT.com