The toxicity of the Star Wars fandom is out of control
Star Wars: The Last Jedi star Kelly Marie Tran has been reported to have deleted all of her Instagram posts pertaining to the film after months of harassment by rabid, entitled fans for her role in the franchise.
It was revealed in the tweet by Star Wars Facts that the actress. At first, one would question the legitimacy of the account given its name. However, seeing the news make rounds on all of the entertainment media outlets and seeing the nastiness that erupted in the comments, it wasn’t hard to realize that the tweet did reveal the truth. Check out the tweet below.
— Star Wars Facts (@SWTweets) June 5, 2018
This news does not come as a surprise. However, that doesn’t stop the quickly growing rage churning deep inside of me. Why? Because we can do better. The Star Wars fandom can do better.
Kelly Marie Tran was harassed for a variety of reasons. She was harassed because many people didn’t like her character Rose. She was harassed for her ethnicity. She was harassed for being a woman. Here was a woman who was so insanely excited to be apart of this universe and she was harassed for it. Now I know some of you will try to argue with me that this is all a part of the job. By taking this role, Kelly should have expected this and just take it.
Actually, it’s not.
Harassment is not a job expectation. It is something we allow to happen because of misguided notions about what actors should deal with and as a result of how customers approach the consumption of products. In a sense, we’ve adopted the ‘customer is always right’ motto and poured water on it like a Gremlin before letting it loose on the Internet. This is unacceptable and has been a problem for as long as I can remember. And it is only getting worse.
Ask any minority outside of the heterosexual, white male stereotype if they’ve faced harassment over their opinions or love of Star Wars on the internet. Our founder Jenna Busch and I can both attest to the harassment we face anytime we post any opinion pieces connected to Star Wars. We’ve been called names not fit to be printed here, oftentimes connected with our presumed intelligence levels. And, since the recent round of Star Wars films, the harassment has gotten 10 times worse. I can only deduce that this is connected with the increased amount of diversity within the films as well as a growing increase in entitlement within the Star Wars fandom.
With change comes conflict. This is something that cannot be denied and, when it comes to a property I love, I completely understand the fear when things are being changed around. However, harassing actors for doing their job is uncalled for. Literally chasing actors away from a franchise because your needs weren’t met is complete and utter bullshit. For the fanboys who are currently celebrating this “victory”, you will need to understand this:
You can’t keep biting the hand that feeds you.
I don’t think I have ever seen a fandom in recents years that has been so encompassed in eating itself. Do you think actors will want to interact with fans after this? After seeing one of their own chased away by a bombardment of harassment because people weren’t happy with her inclusion in the franchise? I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t even bother. Not when I see fans acting like entitled, spoiled babies. This is not our property. Yes, we impact sales. But, ultimately, we have no ownership over any of this. You may agree to disagree with me on this, but we all know I am right.
Let the lesson of this be to reflect on our behavior. This fandom, the Star Wars fandom, needs to do better to combat and police the toxicity within the community. In the long term, I think it will be essential to the health of the franchise.