'star wars' actor kelly marie tran speaks out on racist harassment
"My real name is Loan Tran."
Image courtesy of Lucasfilm.
Earlier this summer, actor Kelly Marie Tran wiped her Instagram, in what was presumed to be a response to racist trolling by Star Wars fans. In case you missed it, the reason for their ire was that Tran isn't white, and apparently only white people are allowed to be Star Wars heroes. Now however, she’s taken to a platform more reputable than Instagram to address what was inflicted upon her. “It wasn’t their words, it’s that I started to believe them,” she writes in an op ed for the New York Times. Tran goes on to describe the frustrations; of being made to feel ‘less than’ for her Vietnamese heritage, of racial microaggressions, and of the narrative around people of colour in America.
Thankfully, Tran eventually saw through the personal attacks and perceived the problem was with the world at large. “And it was then that I realised I had been lied to,” she says. “And it was in this realisation 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.” She notes the various entities engaged in a collective brainwashing, from Hollywood to corporations, exploiting people’s insecurities in the name of profit. Kelly Marie, as she herself notes, is the first Asian woman to appear on the cover of Vanity Fair, and the first woman of colour to have a leading role in a Star Wars movie.
“My real name is Loan. And I am just getting started.”
We can’t wait to see what Loan does next.
This article originally appeared on i-D US.