‘Star Wars’ actor Kelly Marie Tran opens up about online harassment

New York: Star Wars’ first Asian actress, Kelly Marie Tran, has broken her silence about the online harassment she faced which forced her to delete her social media.

After being subjected to months of sexist and racist comments following the December 2017 release of ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’, the 29-year-old – who is the first lead woman of colour in the franchise – had deleted her Instagram account in June.

In a recently published New York Times op-ed, Tran has opened up about the ‘self-hate’ the trolls caused.

“It wasn’t their words, it’s that I started to believe them,” the actress, who is Vietnamese-American, said. “Their words seemed to confirm what growing up as a woman and a person of colour already taught me: that I belonged in margins and spaces, valid only as a minor character in their lives and stories. And those words awakened something deep inside me-a feeling I thought I had grown out of.”

According to Tran, “Their words reinforced a narrative I had heard my whole life: that I was ‘other,’ that I didn’t belong, that I wasn’t good enough, simply because I wasn’t like them. And that feeling, I realize now, was, and is, shame, a shame for the things that made me different, a shame for the culture from which I came from. And to me, the most disappointing thing was that I felt it at all.”

“You might know me as Kelly. 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,” Tran concluded.

On a related note, Tran will reprise her role as Rose Tico in next year’s ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’.