comScore Racist Star Wars Fandom Attacks Host Krystina Arielle | The Mary Sue

Racist Star Wars Fandom Attacks ‘High Republic Show’ Host Krystina Arielle

#IStandWithKrystina is now trending in support of Arielle.

star wars fandom

This should have been Krystina Arielle’s week to shine. The cosplayer and consummate nerd announced her awesome new gig hosting Star Wars: The High Republic Show, a web series for StarWars.com and the Star Wars YouTube channel that covers Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The High Republic multimedia initiative.

But like all people of color who join the Star Wars universe, Arielle was subject to the targeted harassment from the fandom’s toxic racist contingency. Racist Star Wars trolls have been relentless in their attacks on franchise stars John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran. And those same trolls are now directing their venomous hate at Arielle, focusing on some of her old tweets addressing systemic racism. Because in their broken brains, a Black woman calling out racist white systems and racist white people is (wait for it) racist?

The Star Wars Twitter account posted the following tweet which read, “Our Star Wars community is one of hope and inclusivity. We do not stand for bullying and racism. We support @KrystinaArielle”:

Arielle also received an outpouring of support from friends and fans from across the globe, as #IStandWithKrystina started trending:

Boyega had previously discussed how racism affected his Star Wars experience, saying “Nobody else in the cast had people saying they were going to boycott the movie because [they were in it]. Nobody else had the uproar and death threats sent to their Instagram DMs and social media, saying, ‘Black this and black that and you shouldn’t be a Stormtrooper.’ Nobody else had that experience. But yet people are surprised that I’m this way. That’s my frustration.”

Tran, who was bullied so severely she closed her social media accounts, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times where she wrote, “Their words reinforced a narrative I had heard my whole life: that I was “other,” that I didn’t belong, that I wasn’t good enough, simply because I wasn’t like them. And that feeling, I realize now, was, and is, shame, a shame for the things that made me different, a shame for the culture from which I came from. And to me, the most disappointing thing was that I felt it at all.”

It’s good that The Powers That Be at Star Wars are speaking up in support of Arielle, but frankly it’s too little too late. Disney and Lucasfilm have not done nearly enough to protect their actors of color, even with some of their biggest stars going public about the company’s issues with systemic racism. It’s not enough for corporations to hire people of color: they need to stand by them and defend them with actively anti-racist policies. Anything else is just lip service.

We stand with Krystina Arielle.

(featured image:screencap)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband and two poorly behaved rescue dogs. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.