Star Wars actor Kelly Marie Tran stands up to racism in powerful op-ed

The star is speaking out for the first time since leaving Instagram due to online harassment. "Yes, I have been lied to. We all have."

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Mike Sorrentino
2 min read

Kelly Marie Tran is speaking out against the online harassment that led her to leave Instagram.

Jonathan Olley

Star Wars actress Kelly Marie Tran is waging her own battle against harassment -- both online and in real life.

In a editorial published Tuesday by The New York Times, Tran speaks out for the first time since deleting her Instagram account in June following online harassment.

"It wasn't their words, it's that I started to believe them," Tran leads off, speaking of various experiences throughout her life of being marginalized for her Vietnamese-American heritage.

"The same feeling I had when at 9, I stopped speaking Vietnamese altogether because I was tired of hearing other kids mock me. Or at 17, when at dinner with my white boyfriend and his family, I ordered a meal in perfect English, to the surprise of the waitress, who exclaimed, 'Wow, it's so cute that you have an exchange student,'" Tran writes.

Tran says that every time she picks up a script or a screenplay, she thinks about telling stories that can show a world where people aren't wishing they were white and that show equality among races, religions, sexual orientations and gender identities.

Tran doesn't mention any specific Instagram posts in her editorial, but instead speaks to the larger issue of being compromised in American society for her Asian heritage, including mentioning that she and her parents adopted American-sounding names to make them easier for others to pronounce. Tran's real first name is Loan.

Her full editorial is absolutely worth a read. Tran got plenty of support from co-star Mark Hamill and fans who created art in her character's honor in response to her leaving the social network to get away from online harassment. A rally was also held at San Diego Comic-Con in honor of the actress and her character.

We've reached out to Tran and will update this story with any further comment.

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