The Star Wars community has felt a great disturbance in the Force over the last six months, as former fans of the saga have regularly taken to social media to harass the cast and crew of The Last Jedi. In the wake of star Kelly Marie Tran deleting her social media accounts, seemingly due to the months of racist and sexist insults hurled her way, John Boyega has sent a message to harassers to point out that they won’t be offered an ounce of politeness.
On Twitter, Boyega shared the message, “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!”
Boyega himself has been the target of harassment due to his involvement in the saga, as he was the first character to appear in the debut teaser for The Force Awakens back in 2014, immediately enraging bigots who took to social media to share a variety of racist opinions.
While Tran herself hasn’t publicly spoken out about her decision to delete her social media accounts, it’s safe to say that viewers who didn’t enjoy The Last Jedi and thought that personally attacking her for her gender and ethnicity had some sort of impact on her. Despite not getting that official confirmation, The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson shared a message on Twitter that seemingly confirms the reason behind her departure and Tran’s immediate quality of life improvement.
“I don’t want to speak for her, I’m sure at some point she’ll talk about it. But if anyone is honestly questioning whether her decision had anything to do with the constant presence of toxic threats, insults and abuse, I mean… really?” Johnson shared on Twitter when asked about Tran’s decisions. “I will say she’s happily living her life in grand Kelly style, I’m glad she’s cut this distraction out of it. I’m bummed we all lose out on her IG posts, she was awesome on it.”
Johnson has arguably been the subject of most of the harassment from the vocal minority of former Star Wars fans who were disappointed with The Last Jedi. Following Tran’s departure, Johnson shared his frustrations though pointed out how detractors are small in number, but persistent in their messages.
“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,” the director shared. “We like & dislike stuff but we do it with humor, love & respect. We’re the VAST majority, we’re having fun & doing just fine.”
The filmmaker also passionately clarified his remarks, as some harassers seem to think that endlessly “critiquing” a film is constructive and not the same as regularly sending insults.
“Done with this disingenuous bullsh-it,” Johnson replied to one user. “You know the difference between not liking a movie and hatefully harassing a woman so bad she has to get off social media. And you know which of those two we’re talking about here.”
Regardless of how many people harass any of the cast and crew of the films, that won’t stop Boyega and Tran from appearing in Episode IX, which debuts on December 20, 2019, while Rian Johnson’s new trilogy of films likely won’t debut until 2020.
Do you hope more stars of the saga take Boyega’s approach to social media? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror![H/T Twitter, JohnBoyega]