The ‘Being Mary Jane’ star names the ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ actress her ‘Woman Crush Wednesday’ as she defends her against online trolls.
Zoe Saldana and Reese Witherspoon have joined Gabrielle Union in saluting Star Wars: The Last Jedi star Kelly Marie Tran after she was driven off Instagram by bullies.
The rising Asian American actress played Rose Tico in the 2017 movie, but her casting irked some male fans of the franchise, who trolled her on social media with abusive messages.
The backlash apparently led Kelly to delete all of her Instagram posts, a move which left many fans disappointed and prompted stars like Olivia Munn to blast the “poisonous people” who attacked Tran online.
Hours after Munn’s missive was posted on Wednesday, June 06, Gabrielle decided to honour Kelly too by naming her her “Woman Crush Wednesday”.
“Today’s #WCW goes out to Kelly Marie Tran,” the Bad Boys II actress wrote beside a series of photos of the 29-year-old. “While I don’t know her, I FEEL her. She was recently driven off of social media due to harassment and bullying.”
“It pains me to see underrepresented women feeling abused and isolated, all while having to defend their own existence,” Union continued. “As the first woman of color and Asian woman to play a lead in a Star Wars film, Tran’s breakout performance should have been a celebration. Thanks to racist, sexist internet bullies, things quickly shifted from one of elation to disappointment.”
Gabrielle then shared a message of love and support for anyone feeling “marginalized, bullied” or simply “alone”, encouraging them to rise above the criticism.
“While there may be haters out there, know that there are still spaces to love, work and exist without negativity and abuse,” she concluded. “We SEE you, we FEEL you, and we are HERE for you. Let us lift her (Tran) up in the light of goodness and hold her there!”
Today’s #WCW goes out to Kelly Marie Tran. While I don’t know her, I FEEL her. She was recently driven off of social media due to harassment & bullying. It pains me to see underrepresented women feeling abused & isolated, all while having to defend their own existence. More 👇🏽 pic.twitter.com/T1EjoUr8QI
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) 6 June 2018
Gabrielle’s heartfelt post was applauded by Witherspoon, who remarked, “Well said,” while Saldana shared a message for Kelly, commenting, “Bravo Kelly Tran!”.
The actresses are the latest famous faces to protest Tran’s treatment by cyberbullies. The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson and Star Wars legend Mark Hamill have also been vocal about the harassment online, as have Josh Gad, Elijah Wood, Kumail Nanjiani, and Cher.