Star Wars has issued a message of support for Obi-Wan Kenobi star Moses Ingram, who’s been the subject of racist abuse since the show’s premiere on Disney+ last week.
Hatred has often defined Star Wars over the past 20 years. Jar Jar Binks became the easiest target for prequel criticism, and the initial reception to Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker was deafeningly negative.
However, the toxicity of certain corners of the franchise’s fandom spiked with the past decade’s sequels, most of all in the wake of The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, with Daisy Ridley, Kelly Marie Tran, and John Boyega all enduring online abuse.
History has been repeating itself of late with Ingram, who plays the villainous Inquisitor Reva in Obi-Wan Kenobi. After sharing the abuse on social media, the official Star Wars Twitter account has called out racism against the actress.
Star Wars supports Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Moses Ingram amid abuse from fans
Sharing photos of Ingram as Reva, the Star Wars account tweeted: “We are proud to welcome Moses Ingram to the Star Wars family and excited for Reva’s story to unfold. If anyone intends to make her feel in any way unwelcome, we have only one thing to say: we resist.
“There are more than 20 million sentient species in the Star Wars galaxy, don’t choose to be a racist.”
There are more than 20 million sentient species in the Star Wars galaxy, don’t choose to be a racist.
— Star Wars (@starwars) May 31, 2022
It comes after Ingram shared some of the abuse she’s received on Instagram, including racist language and slurs, and some accusing her of solely being a “diversity hire.”
In a video on her Instagram story, Ingram also said: “Long story short, there are hundreds of those. Hundreds.
“And I also see those of you out there who put on a cape for me and that really does mean the world to me because, you know, there’s nothing anybody can do about this. There’s nothing anybody can do to stop this hate. And so I question my purposes even being here in front of you saying that this is happening.
“I don’t really know. I don’t really know. But I think the thing that bothers me is that like, sort of this feeling that I’ve had inside of myself. This feeling that no one has told me, but like I just got to shut up and take it. I just got to bury it. And I’m not built like that.
“So I really just wanted to come on, I think, and say thank you to the people who show up for me in the comments and the places I’m not going to put myself. And to the rest of y’all, y’all weird.”
Lucasfilm warned Moses Ingram about racist abuse
During an interview with The Independent ahead of the show’s release, Ingram revealed that Lucasfilm warned her she’d likely face racist abuse from fans. “This is a thing that, unfortunately, likely will happen. But we are here to help you; you can let us know when it happens,” she recalled being told.
Fortunately, she praised director Deborah Chow and others at the studio for “putting the proper systems in place so I feel safe as we do the work.”
She added: “Of course, there are always pockets of hate. But I have no problem with the block button.”