By Andrea Park, Teen Vogue
Posted June 14th 2018
JOHN BOYEGA AND KELLY MARIE TRAN ‘STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI’
Last week, Star Wars: The Last Jedi star Kelly Marie Tran deleted all of her Instagram posts without warning. Though she didn’t give a reason why, the wipe came after she’d endured months of sexist and racist comments on the platforms. On Tuesday, John Boyega took to Twitter to defend his costar and chastise Star Wars fans and haters who seem to believe that not only do they have the right to flood actors with hateful messages, but also that sending those messages will somehow influence future Star Wars films’ storylines and casting. (It won’t.)
“If you don’t like Star Wars or the characters understand that there are decisions makers and harassing the actors/ actresses will do nothing. You’re not entitled to politeness when your approach is rude. Even if you paid for a ticket!” John tweeted, then added in a second tweet, “To the majority of Star Wars fans thank you for supporting and putting yourselves in our shoes. You understand that there is a process so much appreciated !”
When another tweeter joked that “next, John will be telling us that actors don’t write their own dialogue,” he responded, “???????????????? or that [Star Wars] is in fact a documentary and I am actually a stormtrooper.”
As Deadline previously reported, Kelly Marie deleted all the pictures from her Instagram page (though her account still exists) after commenters attacked her for both her race and gender following her appearance as the Star Wars franchise’s first major Asian female character. She joins costar Daisy Ridley, who completely deleted and deactivated her Instagram account in 2016 after facing intense backlash for a post she penned in support of gun control in the U.S.
Not long after Kelly Marie backed away from social media, The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson also took to Twitter to criticize the cyberbullies: “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,” he wrote. Mark Hamill, AKA Luke Skywalker, chimed in too, replying to Johnson’s tweet with, “Same here, but over the past 40 years for me,” and posting a selfie with Kelly Marie captioned, “What’s not to love?”