After ‘Star Wars’ Actress Kelly Marie Tran Was Bullied Online, Fans Struck Back With Beautiful Artwork
“Star Wars” fans turned negativity into creativity with #FanArtforRose.
In December 2017, Disney released “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” a film that would become one of the most divisive among fans of the space saga. While some praised director Rian Johnson’s bold and humorous take, others thought it trashed much of the plot developed in its predecessor, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Long before the film hit theaters, it was announced that Kelly Marie Tran, a San Diego-born child of Vietnamese immigrants, would be playing maintenance-worker-turned-Resistance-hero Rose Tico. Her addition to the “Star Wars” universe was important because she’s the first prominent female Asian character in the series.
That’s when the sexist and racist bullying began for Tran.
Once the film opened in theaters, her “Star Wars” Wookieepedia entry was vandalized with racist comments. Her name there was changed to “Ch*ng Ch*ng Wing Tong” and a fake quote was attributed to her character: “Heil Hitler and I don’t know why I was casted [sic] in a good movie like Star Wars.”
After months of enduring racist and sexist comments from trolls, Tran deleted every photo on her Instagram page.
All she left was one message: “Afraid, but doing it anyway.”
Tran’s move inspired “The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson and her costar, Mark Hamill, to stand up for her.
Done with this disingenuous bullshit. You know the difference between not liking a movie and hatefully harassing a woman so bad she has to get off social media. And you know which of those two we’re talking about here.— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) June 5, 2018\n
On social media a few unhealthy people can cast a big shadow on the wall, but over the past 4 years I’ve met lots of real fellow SW fans. We like & dislike stuff but we do it with humor, love & respect. We’re the VAST majority, we’re having fun & doing just fine. https://t.co/yhcShg5vdJ— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) June 5, 2018\n
To counter the negativity spread by the trolls who harassed Tran, “Star Wars” fans picked up their brushes, pencils, and tablets and got to work creating artwork that expressed Rose Tico’s beauty and perseverance.
The artwork was posted on Twitter under #FanArtforRose.
Fans turned negativity into creativity, paying tribute to the actress who brought more diversity to the “Star Wars” universe.
I sincerely loved her character and #KellyMarieTran seems like a such genuine and sweet individual. Her Instagram was a joy to follow and I will miss it. Thanks too for repping people who never get to see themselves reflected in media! #FanArtforRose pic.twitter.com/I65BeTjzLG— Tiff Bartel (@tiffbartel) June 5, 2018\n
#FanArtforRose #KellyMarieTran If you watch a movie ( or read a comic book or anything) and you feel a strong compulsion about going to social media and being toxic with the creators, please go to see a therapist, help yourself. pic.twitter.com/gXT7IvBAgQ— nil vendrell pallach (@nilvendrell) June 5, 2018\n
Finally finished this sketch in-between meetings, and making good on my promise. Kelly Marie Tran is a motherfrickin treasure. #fanartforrose #Rosetico #kellymarietran #Starwars #thelastjedi pic.twitter.com/aZPhMyzBYA— mingjue helen chen (@MingjueChen) June 6, 2018\n