Kelly Marie Tran spoke out for the first time following her purge of Instagram over trolls' comments. (AP)
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” actress Kelly Marie Tran is speaking out for the first time after purging her Instagram following a slew of negative and harassing comments and messages from people that disliked her role in the film.
As previously reported, Tran, a Vietnamese-American, faced months of harassment after the movie came out and even had online trolls change her the name on her character, Rose Tico, on the fan-site Wookieepedia to “Ching Chong Wing Tong.”
“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,” Tran wrote in a New York Times opinion article. “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.”
The star continued: “Because the same society that taught some people they were heroes, saviors, inheritors of the Manifest Destiny ideal, taught me I existed only in the background of their stories, doing their nails, diagnosing their illnesses, supporting their love interests — and perhaps the most damaging — waiting for them to rescue me. And for a long time, I believed them.”
Tran went on to describe how the culture of stereotypes not only affected her acting career, but her home life as well. The star noted that she and her parents changed their names to be more easily pronounceable in the U.S.
Tran, who is the first woman of color to have a leading role in a “Star Wars” film as well as the first Asian woman to appear on the cover of Vanity Fair, has not posted the images she purged earlier this year after receiving such backlash online.
At the time, both “The Last Jedi” director, Rain Johnson, and co stars Mark Hamill and John Boyega were among the first to reach out to defend her against the toxic fandom surrounding her character.
“My real name is Loan,” the star concluded in her op-ed. “And I am just getting started.”