Nerd Fits, SJW Pandering and the Destruction of the Star Wars Universe…?
That about sums up the drama created by the Internet surrounding ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’. Many “fans” of the franchise threw a micro-fit, calling the film trash and claiming it was pandering to SJW’s (Social Justice Warriors) and that it’s destroying the Star Wars Universe. That’s the summarization – as you probably don’t want to read the comments on the film that were even WORSE than that general idea.
I understand everyone has the right to their own opinion, regardless of how I feel on a subject. Now, if people SHOULD voice their opinions is a different story that I’m not here to rant about today…
But blatant harassment is NEVER justified, and saying “It’s just my opinion, man” is NOT an excuse.
Since Star Wars: The Last Jedi hit the big screen, Actress Kelly Marie Tran (Rose in TLJ) has been under constant attack from the Internet. It’s gotten so bad that she even deleted her Instagram account and removed other Social Media platforms from her life.
Many have harassed her about her involvement in TLJ, claiming she was added for diversity and to appease the SJW culture. Some have even gone as far as to claim she is ruining the franchise just by existing. While others have left extremely rude comments regarding her physical appearance, in addition to completely racist remarks regarding her Asian American roots.
An Actor or Actress Isn’t Their Character.
Yes, an actor or actress can be judged on the roles they choose to take — but they are not these characters at the end of the day. We can get into semantic arguments here on their attachments to the characters, but that’s not relevant. Kelly Marie Tran PLAYED a character named Rose.
Now, here’s where we get into the core of the problem here. Many individuals, including myself, didn’t like the direction they took with Rose’s character. The whole forced romance between Finn and her was a bit cringey and rushed. They could have done a much better job developing her, and really expanding on the back story of her traumatic past and her rise to being a strong, independent woman who don’t need no man.
Overall, it felt like they completely devalued this potentially badass character.
But even with my gripes, I understand that this isn’t her fault whatsoever. She was selected for the role, and despite my opinions of that role, she did a damn good job of filling the role she was cast for.
Harassment is NEVER Cool. Period.
What Kelly Marie Tran had to endure was baseless, pointless, childish and racist.
What was the point of harassing her? Did she come into your home and insult you and your family? No. Did she punch your mother in the face? No. Did she do anything to you at all? Probably not…
Do you think saying nasty things was going to change the movie that already came out? (Spoiler alert, that’s not how things work).
The worst part of the harassment is the impact it has on her as a person. At the end of the day, she steps away from the role she played and goes back to being herself. The targeted harassment isn’t something that she gets to “clock out” of when her shift ends. It is literally ruining someone’s life. At the end of the day, what is it all for? Star Wars is just movies. Flickering images on a screen made in an exotic location that is far, far away. Words, written by people you don’t know and acted by people you’ll probably never meet. And a big pile of money from a giant corporation to fund the money dozens, if not hundreds of times.
The most ridiculous thing about this is that everyone is mad at her when she’s not the one to blame! You don’t like her lines in the movie? Blame the writers for it. You don’t like the fact she was cast? Blame the casting directors. Don’t like the fact the studio funded the movie and decided that role had to be a certain ethnicity? Blame the studio for that decision… And consider taking a long, hard look at why you have a problem with diversity as well.
This isn’t saying it’s fair game to harass others who are just doing their jobs. If you have a problem, by all means, you can bring it up in a constructive manner. But use some critical thinking about the who, when and where of it being brought up.
Harassment on any level is just wrong. It’s childish and pointless. But everyone who is mad at HER should be mad at the higher-ups who made the decision they feel so strongly about. It really feels like everyone saw this unique and adorable woman and felt that she was an “easy target”. From my own personal experience and many of my close friends, we’ve all been targeted by bullies as we appear “weaker” than them. And really, that’s all that these people harassing her are… BULLIES.
There’s a huge difference between saying “Hey, I didn’t like the way your character was portrayed because of x, y, and z.” and mocking someone for their appearance, making insanely racist comments and harassing them to the point they delete social media.
So, what’s the takeaway here?
Let’s just try to remember at the end of the day, there’s always another person on the other side of the screen. Whether it’s your phones screen, computer, or the silver screen – we’re all humans. We’re a living, breathing person with feelings, emotions, hopes, dreams, and self-esteem that can see what you’re saying. What you say may not be the thing that hurts them today, but it places lingering doubt in their minds if they’re doing the right thing.
This isn’t a debate about “People needing tougher skin”.
This isn’t a debate about “Well if they didn’t want the attention they shouldn’t put themselves out there”.
This is an open invitation for everyone to take a step back, and take a moment to hink before you act. Think before you type. And think before you speak. How will your actions impact this person? How would you feel if someone did to you what you’re about to do?
You know what’s the easiest thing you can do in these situations? Be a nicer person. Trust me when I say this, it takes WAY more energy to just stay angry, bitter and toxic than it does to just bite your tongue and say something nice. This doesn’t mean that we constantly have to be sugar coating everything. Just learn to be constructive about it.
Let’s just be decent.