Star Wars has denounced 'bullying and racism' after the host of a new web companion show to the forthcoming Star Wars: The High Republic series was subject to vile abuse online.
Presenter Krystina Arielle will host The High Republic Show, a behind-the-scenes look at the new Star Wars series, airing its first episode later this week.
A tweet on the official Star Wars Twitter page reads: “Our Star Wars community is one of hope and inclusivity. We do not stand for bullying and racism. We support @KrystinaArielle.”
Our Star Wars community is one of hope and inclusivity. We do not stand for bullying and racism. We support @KrystinaArielle.
— Star Wars (@starwars) January 23, 2021
Others weighed in with support, some noting the Star Wars account’s observance of Martin Luther King day on 18 January.
#IStandWithKrystina protect Black creators.
Krystina speaking out on white supremacy, white privilege, and the complicity of whiteness in America is not an easy or safe thing to do.
Black voices BELONG in Star Wars.
Protect Black voices #IStandWithKrystina https://t.co/J8ff8h0Rh6
— Dani Fernandez (@msdanifernandez) January 23, 2021
Arielle has been targeted with racial abuse, with Twitter trolls picking out past tweets of her supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
One tweet of hers, published in June last year, read: “And I was in such a good mood. White People: You do not get to absolve people of racism. You do not get to point out their 'Growth' when they say black lives matter after treating us as if we don’t. You don’t get to accept apologies on our behalf. That shouldn’t need to be said.”
Another read: “Just a reminder that white women are just as complicit in upholding and enforcing white supremacy.”
Over the weekend, she posted screenshots of some of the abuse she has received, with the comment: “We the last 24 hours have been ... not the greatest.”
The tweets are too offensive to publish here.
Arielle is not the only member of the Star Wars extended family to be targetted with racial abuse.
Both John Boyega and The Last Jedi star Kelly Marie Tran have been harassed by online trolls.
Watch: John Boyega speaks out after BLM speech
Boyega hit headlines last summer after delivering an impassioned speech during the Black Lives Matter protests in London.
Speaking to GQ magazine last September, he said: “I’m the only cast member who had their own unique experience of that franchise based on their race.
“Let’s just leave it like that. It makes you angry with a process like that. It makes you much more militant; it changes you. Because you realise, ‘I got given this opportunity but I’m in an industry that wasn’t even ready for me.’
“Nobody else in the cast had people saying they were going to boycott the movie because [they were in it]. Nobody else had the uproar and death threats sent to their Instagram DMs and social media, saying, ‘Black this and black that and you shouldn’t be a Stormtrooper.’ Nobody else had that experience. But yet people are surprised that I’m this way. That’s my frustration.”
Watch: The Chinese-English Star Wars actress who’s leading Matrix 4