Star Wars' Kelly Marie Tran tells of the 'self-hate' she felt after online harassment 4 years ago

Star Wars' Kelly Marie Tran tells of the 'self-hate' she felt after online harassment

She deleted her Instagram posts this summer.

Star Wars' Kelly Marie Tran has penned an open letter about the online abuse she faced; the "self-hate" it caused - and how she began to overcome it.

Advertisement

The actress, who played Resistance mechanic Rose Tico in The Last Jedi, left Instagram earlier this summer, after being faced with months of abuse and harassment.

She wrote an op-ed for the New York Times this week, where she spoke about the online harassment for the first time.

She began:

“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 color already taught me: that I belonged in margins and spaces, valid only as a minor character in their lives and stories.”

Advertisement

The actress recalled how the messages had “awakened something deep inside me — a feeling I thought I had grown out of it.”

She continued:

“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.”

With her role in 2017's The Last Jedi, Tran became the first Asian-American actress to have a major role in the Star Wars film franchise - which has spanned more than 40 years.

Advertisement

The cast of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in London

She recalled how the messages she was receiving led her "down a spiral of self-hate, into the darkest recesses of my mind" and to blame herself - even, at one point, thinking: "Maybe if I wasn't Asian."

She added:

Advertisement

“And it was then that I realized I had been lied to.

“And it was in this realization that I felt a different shame — not a shame for who I was, but a shame for the world I grew up in. And a shame for how that world treats anyone who is different.

“I want to live in a world where children of color 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.

"This is the world I want to live in. And this is the world that I will continue to work toward.”

Kelly Marie Tran as Rose

She concluded the post with a nod to her earlier words, where she mentioned that her parents had felt the need to change their given names to more Americanised ones "so it was easier for others to pronounce, a literal erasure of culture that still has me aching to the core."

She ended the post by writing:

Advertisement

"You might know me as Kelly.

"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."

You can read her full piece here.