Actress Kelly Marie Tran has penned a powerful op-ed about online harassment for the New York Times. The 29-year-old wiped her Instagram clean this summer in response to an onslaught of racist comments over her role as Rose Tico in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. In the August 21st piece, titled, “I Won’t Be Marginalized by Online Harassment,” the Vietnamese American actress wrote about how the harassment permeated her thinking and reinforced self-doubt. She said,
“I had been brainwashed into believing that my existence was limited to the boundaries of another person’s approval. I had been tricked into thinking that my body was not my own, that I was beautiful only if someone else believed it, regardless of my own opinion. I had been told and retold this by everyone: by the media, by Hollywood, by companies that profited from my insecurities.”
She also said the recent online harassment brought up incidents from her past that she thought she had long moved passed.
Tran’s op-ed comes during a watershed moment for Asian visibility in pop culture. Following Sandra Oh’s historic Emmy nomination and the release of the highly successful Crazy Rich Asians, as well Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Asian Americans have taken to sharing their personal stories. Kimberly Yam, Asian Voices Editor at HuffPost, recently shared a now-viral Twitter thread that touched on similar themes of identity and acceptance.
Tran ends her illuminating op-ed with a powerful sentiment, writing,
Read Tran’s moving op-ed in its entirety here.