On Monday night, “Star Wars” fan account @SWTweets alerted that Tran had deleted all of the posts from her Instagram page, leaving just a black and white profile photo and a bio that reads “Afraid, but doing it anyway.”
The actress, who was the first lead female character of color in the iconic series, had been criticized by “Star Wars” fans for her performance, looks and Asian ethnicity. Alt-right internet personality Paul Ray Ramsey took aim at her appearance publicly, and the “Wookieepedia” page for Tran’s character was altered by contributors with offensive, racist language.
At the “Last Jedi” premiere in December, Tran told Variety that bringing diversity to the “Star Wars” world has “been both an honor and a responsibility. I feel so overwhelmed.” She added, “A lot of ‘Star Wars’ fans who are specifically Asian never had a character they could dress up like, or they would and people would always call them ‘Asian Rey’ or ‘Asian fill-in-the-blank.’ I get very emotional when I see people who are able to identify with this character. That means a lot to me and I don’t think it will ever get old.”
“The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson tweeted that the “VAST majority” of “Star Wars” fans do it with “humor, love & respect.”
On social media a few unhealthy people can cast a big shadow on the wall, but over the past 4 years I’ve met lots of real fellow SW fans. We like & dislike stuff but we do it with humor, love & respect. We’re the VAST majority, we’re having fun & doing just fine. https://t.co/yhcShg5vdJ
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) June 5, 2018
Daisy Ridley, one of Tran’s co-stars, deleted her Instagram account in 2016 when she faced similar harassment for a post about gun control.
— Star Wars Facts (@SWTweets) June 5, 2018