'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Actor Kelly Marie Tran Posted About Social Media Fears on Deleted Instagram Account

Kelly Marie Tran, who played Resistance mechanic Rose Tico in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, has quit social media, wiping her Instagram posts after becoming a focal point for racist and sexist anger aimed at the latest entries in the Star Wars series.

Right from its release, The Last Jedi became a lightning rod for fans aggrieved by the increased diversity in casting and women in lead roles, despite continued disparities that run counter to their descriptions of mainstream cinema as "feminist propaganda" and "forced diversity." Women and minority groups continue to be vastly underrepresented on screen, with an USC Annenberg study finding only 33 percent of speaking roles go to women, with 82 percent of movies casting more men than women. Racial diversity statistics are similarly lopsided. Even worse than the underrepresentation of women and minority groups in front of the camera is the vast disparity behind, where only a tenth of screenwriters are women and nearly 90 percent of directors are white.

As a woman of color, Tran became an easy target for online subcultures aggrieved at minor gestures toward equality in our most mainstream storytelling mediums.

Before deleting her Instagram posts, leaving behind only a bio reading "Afraid, but doing it anyway," Tran occasionally described her reasoning behind what she shares with the public.

"I avoided public social media for a long time purely because I was afraid. I was terrified of being picked apart, of being scrutinized, of being seen," Tran wrote in one now-deleted post. "It took me a year of self-work—and some really amazing, supportive friends—to make me realize that it's none of my business if people like me or not. It doesn't change my goals, my dreams, what I want to do with the opportunities I've been given."

Tran isn't the first Star Wars cast member to be driven from social media. After a Facebook post using the hashtag #stoptheviolence, responding to the Orlando nightclub shooting that killed 49 people, Daisy Ridley deleted her social media accounts in response to a deluge of pro-gun anger. "I was like, 'I'm out,' Simple as a that. That is not what I signed up for," Ridley, who played lead character Rey in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi told Glamour.

"It's no secret that we are people of different backgrounds, with different upbringings. Let's face it, there are things about each other we might not understand right away. And that's OKAY. Let us approach each other from a place of honesty in this confusion, let us embrace our differences with love. The world is scary enough. Let us love ourselves and one another," Tran wrote in a post preserved by Twitter account @daisyrdley. Those harassing her would be better served taking her words to heart.

Though her return hasn't been made official, we'll likely next see Tran onscreen in 2019 in Star Wars: Episode IX, the untitled sequel to Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Actor Kelly Marie Tran Posted About Social Media Fears on Deleted Instagram Account | Gaming