Star Wars warns their fans that racism does not belong in their franchise after actor Moses Ingram revealed that she has faced racial harassment since being cast in their latest series. Elsewhere, “Percy Jackson” author Rick Riordan had to publish a blog to condemn the attacks against African-American child actor Leah Jeffries who was recently cast in the lead role of Annabeth Chase.
Star Wars Stands Behind Moses Ingram
This past week, “Star Wars” had to condemn fans about racist, hateful comments being made about a new addition to the franchise.
The “Star Wars” account stood behind actor Moses Ingram, who will be playing in the new “Star Wars” series “Obi-Wan Kenobi.” Ingram had posted screenshots to her Instagram story sharing a number of racist comments she has gotten since the show premiered. One said her “days are numbered”; another called her a “diversity hire.”
“We are proud to welcome Moses Ingram to the Star Wars family and excited for Reva’s story to unfold,” the “Star Wars” account tweeted. “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,” the “Star Wars” account added on.
In a video on her Instagram story, Ingram told her followers that she received “hundreds” of hateful messages.
“I question what my purpose is even being here in front of you saying this is happening,” she said. “I think the thing that bothers me is that, like, sort of, this feeling that I’ve had inside of myself, which no one has told me, but this I just have to shut up and bear it, and I’m not built like that.”
She thanked the fans who have stuck up for her in the comments, saying their support “means the world.”
“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 that I’m not going to put myself,” she said. “And to the rest of y’all: Y’all weird.”
This was not the first time an actor of color featured in the “Star Wars” franchise has experienced hateful comments due to their race. However, fans on social media pointed out that this was the first time the franchise defended one of their stars after intense backlash on social media.
Leah Jeffries is Annabeth Chase And That’s That
When it was announced that Leah Jefferies would be cast to play the role of Annabeth Chase, a character from Rick Riordan’s book series, Percy Jackson, the child star was inundated with racist harassment from certain Percy Jackson fans. This small subsection of fans expressed anger over Jeffries playing Annabeth because the Black actor does not match the skin and hair color of the character as she was originally depicted in the novels. The outrage from fans led to them mass reporting Jefferies’ TikTok account to the point that TikTok banned her account.
The “Percy Jackson” author Rick Riordan published a blog post May 10 that called out and condemned the racist outrage.
“This post is specifically for those who have a problem with the casting of Leah Jeffries as Annabeth Chase,” Riordan wrote.
“It’s a shame such posts need to be written, but they do…Leah brings so much energy and enthusiasm to this role, so much of Annabeth’s strength. She will be a role model for new generations of girls who will see in her the kind of hero they want to be.”
“If you have a problem with this casting, however, take it up with me. You have no one else to blame. Whatever else you take from this post, we should be able to agree that bullying and harassing a child online is inexcusably wrong. As strong as Leah is, as much as we have discussed the potential for this kind of reaction and the intense pressure this role will bring, the negative comments she has received online are out of line. They need to stop. Now.”
“Some of you have apparently felt offended or exasperated when your objections are called out online as racist. ‘But I am not racist,’ you say. ‘It is not racist to want an actor who is accurate to the book’s description of the character.”
“Let’s examine that statement. You are upset/disappointed/frustrated/angry because a Black actor has been cast to play a character who was described as white in the books…You are judging her appropriateness for this role solely and exclusively on how she looks. She is a Black girl playing someone who was described in the books as white.”
“Friends, that is racism.”
Riordan finished off the post, condemning those who have participated in this racist harassment as not having learned anything from his novels, where the core message is “that difference is strength. There is power in plurality. The things that distinguish us from one another are often our marks of individual greatness. You should never judge someone by how well they fit your preconceived notions.”
Riordan then challenged the haters to kick rocks saying “Watch the show or don’t. That’s your call.”
Monica Shuts Down Racist Reporter’s Comments About Her CMA Performance: “This Isn’t Wakanda!”
Racists have been out and about spewing hate in other arenas, including the Country Music Awards.
R&B songstress Monica took to social media to shut down a racist reporter who made comments about the presence of black culture at the recent awards show. The legendary singer stood up for humanity and didn’t care about hurting feelings.
A reporter, Patrick Howley, made offensive comments about what he considered too many black people at the annual Country Music Awards in which Monica performed. Howley called out other black performers throughout the night as well including Marvel superhero/actor, Anthony Mackie, who was the host.