Actress Kelly Marie Tran has been met with a slew of insensitive and racist taunts and insults since The Last Jedi debuted. This culminated with the actress deleting her Instagram account in June.
Tran, who will reprise her role as Rose Tico in next year’s Star Wars: Episode IX, wrote an essay for The New York Times to express her thoughts.
“It wasn’t their words, it’s that I started to believe them,” the actress began. “Their words seemed to confirm what growing up as a woman and a person of color 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.”
Tran was arguably one of the best aspects to come out of the polarizing Last Jedi film. The fact some people couldn’t get past her race to see an interesting and likable character is really sad.
“I am not the first person to have grown up this way. 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,” she said in The New York Times. “This is the world I grew up in, but not the world I want to leave behind.” Tran will be doing her part to ensure society embraces “people of all races, religions, socioeconomic classes, sexual orientations, gender identities and abilities,” she wrote, adding, “This is the world I want to live in. And this is the world that I will continue to work toward.”
Tran’s character Rose Tico said it best in Last Jedi, “That’s how we are going to win. Not fighting what we hate, but by saving what we love.”