Did 'Star Wars' Actor Kelly Marie Tran Scrap Her Instagram Because of Trolls?
'The Last Jedi' became a battle in the culture war, and Kelly Marie Tran was caught in the middle of it.
On Monday night, the Twitter account Star Wars Facts—a fan page with over 40,000 followers—posted a tweet about Kelly Marie Tran, the 29-year-old actress who portrayed Rose Tico in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Tran, the tweet said, deleted her Instagram posts because of “months of harassment.” If you go to Tran’s Instagram page, it’s completely devoid of any of the bubbly posts that made her something an internet sensation during the press tour for The Last Jedi.
Despite what the now-viral tweet says, though, we don't know what, exactly, caused the removal. (We’ve reached out to Tran’s publicists, and we’ll update if we hear back.) The account itself is still active; it’s just the posts that are gone. Judging by this tweet from May 31, it’s been a few days since the removal.
Most news stories have run with explanation provided in the tweet, citing the avalanche of abusive trolling Tran has received since The Last Jedi came out. Unsurprisingly, much of the harassment has been misogynistic and racist, focusing on Tran’s appearance and ethnicity. (Tran, it should be noted, is the franchise’s first woman of color in a big role, and has spoken out about the importance of representation in media.)
In December, her Wookieepedia page—an online encyclopedia cataloguing the Star Wars universe—was trashed: her character’s name was changed to Ching Chong Wing Tong, and it described her as a “dumbass bitch.” The movie itself—one of the franchise’s most diverse—was also received poorly by many fanboys, which became somewhat of a flashpoint for talking about the fanbase more broadly.
There was also this tweet, from Paul Ray Ramsey, whom the Southern Poverty Law Center has described as a white nationalist, which unfavorably compared Tran’s weight to that of Battlestar Galactica actor Grace Park.
If harassment is the culprit, Tran wouldn’t be the first Star Wars star to depart this way: In 2016, Daisy Ridley quit Instagram after posting about gun violence, and still hasn’t come back.