STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI's Kelly Marie Tran Speaks Out For The First Time Since Being Bullied Off Instagram

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI's Kelly Marie Tran Speaks Out For The First Time Since Being Bullied Off Instagram

“It wasn’t their words, it’s that I started to believe them.” Star Wars: The Last Jedi actress Kelly Marie Tran has penned an essay explaining her decision to delete her Instagram after online harassment.

Back in June, Kelly Marie Tran deleted her Instagram posts after a torrent of abuse from racist trolls. Now, the Star Wars: The Last Jedi actress has penned a lengthy essay for The New York Times, explaining why she ultimately allowed the comments to get to her, and vowing to remain strong in the face of online harassment in future.

Tran admits that the trolls managed to get under her skin because they reignited the sense of marginalization she felt growing up as a Vietnamese-American woman.


"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.

The same feeling I had when at 9, I stopped speaking Vietnamese altogether because I was tired of hearing other kids mock me. Or at 17, when at dinner with my white boyfriend and his family, I ordered a meal in perfect English, to the surprise of the waitress, who exclaimed, “Wow, it’s so cute that you have an exchange student!”

Kelly then says she came to the realization that she had been "brainwashed into believing that my existence was limited to the boundaries of another person’s approval," and this led her to feel "shame for the world I grew up in. And a shame for how that world treats anyone who is different."

One things seems clear from reading Tran's words, however: she refuses to give up on herself or the world. "You might know me as Kelly," she signs off. "I am the first woman of color 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."

Be sure to check out the essay in full HERE, and let us know what you think in the usual place. Kelly Marie Tran will reprise the role of Rose Tico for Star Wars: Episode IX next year.
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