I was watching Movie Fights Live early this morning (not “live” unfortunately) and I heard them talk about another video that they had on Screen Junkies Universe from that day featuring Roth Cornet, Dan Murrell, Danielle Radford, and Roxy Striar. It was a video detailing a discussion involving the situation surrounding Star Wars and Kelly Marie Tran.
According to Variety, Kelly Marie Tran, who played Rose in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, deleted her Instagram account on Monday night because of the constant harassment and criticism of her role in the Rian Johnson directed Star Wars film. It would be one thing if they were simply talking about disliking the character and her place in the Star Wars film, but the Internet did not stop there. They went after her looks, her appearance, her ethnicity. As Cornet reported, Alt-Right YouTuber Paul Ray Ramsey attacked Tran about her weight and her looks, sparking some really sick and cruel comments from the followers.
Looking back at my own review of The Last Jedi, I wrote this about Kelly Marie Tran: ” She was fresh and engaging and I liked seeing her.” I was not thrilled with what they did with the character, whom they put into the worst part of that movie, but to go out of your way to specifically target someone because of how they look is just shameful.
Why do people feel the need to target someone playing a role when they do not like what is being done. There is no excuse for there being racism, sexism, any bigotry in the online community. I do not understand why that is acceptable.
Star Wars fandom has been the latest with this trouble, but they are far from the first. The Marvel vs. DC fanboys have fought back and forth for years. Star Wars vs. Star Trek. The geek community has always been known to choose sides and passionately argue their sides of those arguments. Heck, the idea of the Geek fights is where my characters of Westley and Nigel Grimm from The Brothers Geek came from. I wanted them to be the personification of that Geek Argument on each side of the subject. And I loved writing those two.
But Wesley and Nigel are good people. They do not attacks on other people just because they don’t like what they look like, act like or their skin color.
Our nation has moved more to the side of racial hatred recently. I do not want to get into politics here, but the world seems to be less empathic lately. I know there has always been racism, but there is a general feel that we are slipping back on it. The Internet is a way for this hatred to fester.
The goal here at EYG has always been for the site to be a safe place for Geeks to share their opinions on whatever area that they love. A few weeks ago, I had posted my Top 10 Star Wars Movies list and I had someone post a disagreement to what I had listed. He was perfectly reasonable and listed what he believed in. I responded with a thank you for posting and stating that lists can be subjective and, paraphrasing, said that no opinions are wrong. The poster was pleased with the response and said so.
There is no reason why anyone should consider different opinions as a problem. The world would be a dull place if we all had the same likes and dislikes. The great thing about Westley and Nigel was that they could argue about what they thought and still love each other as brothers.
You can do that too, Internet.