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Star Wars shields its actor, Moses Ingram, from its racist fans

by Ezekiel J. Walker
Star Wars shields its actor, Moses Ingram, from its racist fans
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In a series of tweets, the Star Wars twitter account stood behind actor Moses Ingram, who plays Reva in the new “Star Wars” series “Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

This week, Ingram, who is Black, posted screenshots to her Instagram story sharing a number of racist comments she has gotten since the show premiered on Friday. One said her “days are numbered”; another called her a “diversity hire.”

Attacks on non-white Star Wars actors continue.

In 2014, social media users also made racist attacks against the first Black stormtrooper, portrayed by John Boyega. Later in 2017, Kelly Marie Tran, who is Vietnamese American, got similar outpourings of negative social media reaction for a role she played in a new Star Wars film.

For Tran, the backlash became so intense that she left social media.

“It was basically me being like, ‘Oh, this isn’t good for my mental health. I’m obviously going to leave this,’” Tran told The Hollywood Reporter last year.

When Boyega’s casting was announced in the 2015 installment “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the hashtag #BoycottStarWarsVII trended on Twitter. Arguments about the film’s promoting “white genocide” and promoting the destruction of “whites” surfaced on the platform.

Star Wars vehemently defends Ingram.

In its first time ever coming to the defense of one of its non-white stars, Star Wars ends its complicit silence.

“We are proud to welcome Moses Ingram to the Star Wars family and excited for Reva’s story to unfold,” the “Star Wars” account tweeted Monday. “If anyone intends to make her feel in any way unwelcome, we have only one thing to say: we resist.”

“There are more than 20 million sentient species in the Star Wars galaxy, don’t choose to be a racist,” the account wrote.

In a video on her Instagram story, Ingram told her followers that she had been inundated with “hundreds” of hateful messages.

“I question what my purpose is even being here in front of you saying this is happening,” she said. “I think the thing that bothers me is that, like, sort of, this feeling that I’ve had inside of myself, which no one has told me, but this I just have to shut up and bear it, and I’m not built like that.”

Racism exist everywhere, apparently even in outer space.

While the story of Star Wars is fictitious, the love affair that many White American men have for it is akin to a dog and his bone, or a Jedi to a lightsaber. Many fans of storied American franchises like Star Wars hold them with such high regard that any shift in its legacy is often critiqued and condemned.

These racist nerds who attacked Ingram, who have the capacity to believe and invest in a story as fantastical as Star Wars, somehow can’t compute a Black character simply being present for the journey. 

Ingram thanks those who stand by her.

Ingram thanked the fans who have stuck up for her in the comments, saying their support “means the world.”

“So I really just wanted to come on, I think, and say thank you to the people who show up for me in the comments and the places that I’m not going to put myself,” she said. “And to the rest of y’all: Y’all weird.”

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