'Star Wars' Kelly Marie Tran against online bullying

'Star Wars' Kelly Marie Tran against online bullying

Kelly Marie Tran at the Oscars in 2018. Reuters

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi' actor Kelly Marie Tran has opened up about her decision to leave social media after being subjected to severe sexist and racist trolling for her role of Rose Tico in the film.

In June, the actor had deleted all of her Instagram posts after being trolled.

Tran who became the first woman of colour to have a lead role in the sci-fi franchise, said the trolling impacted her in a negative way, strengthening her own insecurities of growing up as an Asian kid in America. 

"It wasn't their words, it's that I started to believe them. 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," she said in an op-ed in the New York Times.

"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 realise 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."

As the daughter of Vietnamese refugees, Tran said she grew up feeling like she didn't belong because she was different and like so many non-white children, she bought that idea of "self-hate".

"And it was then that I realised I had been lied to. I had been brainwashed into believing that my existence was limited to the boundaries of another person's approval."

The actor said she may have grown up in a white-dominated world but she wants to leave a different world behind.

"I want to live in a world where children of colour 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.

Tran said as someone who had been given the chance to tell stories, she is not going to give up on building the world of her dreams despite facing negativity.

"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," she said.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily