Kelly Marie Tran: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Kelly marie tran instagram

Instagram/Kelly Marie Tran

Kelly Marie Tran has deleted all of her Instagram posts after she suffered a torrent of abuse in the aftermath of her performance in The Last Jedi. The Star Wars star’s page remains active but without any photos. Tran’s bio on the page reads, “Afraid, but doing it anyway.” Tran has 191,000 followers.

Tran starred in The Last Jedi as Rosie Trico, a mechanic who befriends Finn, John Boyega, and ultimately helps to save the day. The website Star Wars Facts was the first to report that Tran removed her page after suffering a torrent of harassment.

Tran was cast in the movie in February 2016 and was at the time relative unknown with web shorts being her main credits. In October 2017, Tran posted on Instagram that she was afraid to come forward about her role in the movie because she was “terrified of being picked apart, of being scrutinized, of being seen.”

Here’s what you need to know:


1. An Alt-Right Troll Was Among the First to Mock Tran’s Appearance in Star Wars

Among Tran’s detractors was right-wing Internet personality Paul Ray Ramsey who tweeted a message that appears to criticize Tran’s appearance. Though many were quick to call out Ramsey for his post:

A different Twitter troll wrote that Tran’s character was “That Asian girl who tries to be white.” NextShark referred to Ramsey as “one of the most important representatives of the Alt-Right.” Their article adds that Ramsey “holds a lot of sway with this population, and his comments encourage racism, sexism, and other discriminatory behaviors from his tens of thousands of followers.”


2. Tran’s Star Wars’ Wiki Page Was Edited to Rename Her Character, ‘Ching Chong Wong’

The Huffington Post reported in the weeks after The Last Jedi’s release that Tran’s page at Star Wars wiki page, Wookiepedia, had been edited to include racist language. The page read, “Ching Chong Wing Tong is a dumbass f***ing character Disney made and is a stupid, autistic, and retarded love interest for Finn. She better die in the coma because she is a dumbass b****.” The user who wrote that page was later removed and banned from editing articles on Fandom, according to Newsweek. A quote also appeared on Tran’s page that was attributed to the actress, it read, “Heil Hitler and I don’t know why I was casted in a good movie like Star Wars.”

The section of the page that deals with Tran’s character’s homeworld renamed it from Hays Minor to “Ching Chong China.”


3. Tran Has Been Credited as Being the ‘First Woman of Color’ to Have a Leading Role in a Star Wars Movie

Kelly Marie Tran John Boyega, Rose Tico, The Last Jedi cast

Kelly Marie Tran and John Boyega.

Tran was born in San Diego in 1989 and is the daughter of migrants from Vietnam who fled the Vietnam War. It had been noted previously that Tran is the first woman of color to have a leading role in a Star Wars movie. Vietnamese-American lawyer Anthony Nguyen made a statement saying that “People of color, especially Asian-Americans, are grossly underrepresented in TV and film. Sadly, it’s comments like these that show why Hollywood may be hesitant to depict more diverse characters. Although Tran had to endure horrific racial abuse online, many others spoke up in her defense. Hopefully, these positive voices will be loud enough to drown out the others so more people of color can get the chances they deserve in Hollywood.”

In an interview with E!, Tran spoke about being cast in The Last Jedi and said, “It’s incredible. It feels like a big responsibility. I very much take it seriously. It’s something I’ve thought about a lot. I’m just excited because I know, growing up, I wasn’t able to see someone that necessarily looked like me, who was from where I was from, in a movie. I’m excited that kids will be able to see that.”

Kelly Marie Tran Instagram page

Getty

Among Tran’s deleted Instagram posts was a picture of her wearing an Ao dai, a traditional Vietnamese dress, during her promotion of The Last Jedi. Tran wrote in the post, via Huffington Post, “Growing up, I’ve always felt I was from two different worlds. I was born in the US, but my parents were born in Vietnam, and they raised my sisters and I with the parenting methods of the Vietnamese culture. So much of me is because of what my parents experienced in this country. So much of me is because of the things my parents overcame so that I could have the luxury of having a dream.”

Tran told People Magazine in an interview that her father was homeless in Vietnam and that when he came to American he worked in a Burger King to support his new family while her mother worked in a funeral home. Tran told Buzzfeed about the support her family gave her saying, “I truly did feel that I owed it to my parents, my grandparents, to do whatever it was that I wanted, because if I wasn’t happy, if I wasn’t being true to myself, then I wasn’t living fully,” she said. “They had given up so much so that I could live at the level that so many people are just automatically born into.”


4. Tran Once Joined a Group of Fans in a Bar Who Spoke Glowingly About Her Performance

On December 16, an Instagram user, Cat Mahoney, posted a photo showing her and a group of friends with Tran. Mahoney wrote that she and her friends had been talking positively about Tran’s performance only to realize that Tran had been sitting at the next table and was listening in on the conversation. Over on her page, Tran had written about the encounter saying “after lots of creepy listening” Tran “walked over to introduce myself.” Tran added, “They couldn’t be more lovely,” and that the encounter was an “incredible moment” and was part of “a string of incredible moments I’ve been experiencing lately.”


5. Tran’s Co-Star Daisy Ridley Deleted Her Instagram Page After Suffering Abuse in 2016

Daisy Ridley Instagram

Getty

In August 2016, Daisy Ridley announced that she had deleted her Instagram page citing the specific abuse she suffered after a post she about gun violence. Ridley spoke in the post about the families of the victims of the shootings in Newtown, San Bernardino and at the Orlando Pulse Night Club. The families were present at the same awards show as Ridley. The Star Wars star wrote, via Vanity Fair, “Thinking about how lucky I am like . . . Serious bit: as I sat in the audience yesterday tears were streaming down my face at the tribute to those that have been lost to gun violence. I didn’t get a great picture of the incredible group that came on stage but they were so brave. It was a true moment of togetherness. We must ‪#‎stoptheviolence‬.”

When asked about deleting her page in an interview with Glamour Ridley said, “It’s not good for me, personally. I’m just not equipped for it. I’m super sensitive—not too sensitive—but I really feel things.”