'Star Wars' Actress Kelly Marie Tran Pens A Must-Read Op-Ed About Online Bullying

"I am just getting started."

Two months after Kelly Marie Tran left social media, the Star Wars actress is speaking out about the racist and sexist harassment she experienced. Tran penned a powerful op-ed for The New York Times in which she scrutinizes the culture which fosters such bullying treatment.

"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," Tran wrote, recalling the "shame" she felt over her Vietnamese heritage growing up.


"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," she explained.

In June, Tran deleted all the posts from her Instagram account in response to online harassment over her character Rose Tico in The Last Jedi. Sadly, she is far from the only celebrity who has dealt with this. Her co-star Daisy Ridley also deleted her own account in 2016 after facing harassment. Previously, Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones was briefly driven off Twitter following racist and sexist abuse. 

"I want to live in a world where children of color don't spend their entire adolescence wishing to be white," Tran wrote in the Times. "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."

The actress shared that she keeps these beliefs in mind "every time I pick up a script or a screenplay or a book," adding that she recognizes her power to make a change through storytelling. She has since received praise and support on social media for the "eloquent" piece.

"You might know me as Kelly," Tran wrote in conclusion. "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 Tran's entire op-ed on the New York Times website.

(H/T: Variety)

Cover image: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com


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