'Star Wars' issued a statement condemning the racist harassment of Krystina Arielle, but fans are calling it 'hypocritical'
- "Star Wars" has issued a statement condemning "bullying and racism" directed at Krystina Arielle.
- Arielle, who is Black, was recently announced as the host of an upcoming web series.
- But fans criticized the move as "hypocritical" following past harassment of cast members of color.
"Star Wars" has condemned "bullying and racism" directed at Krystina Arielle - but many fans are underwhelmed by the statement, seeing it as long overdue.
Arielle was recently announced as the host of "The High Republic Show," an upcoming web series that will explore the creation of the new "High Republic" series of comics and books.
Arielle has since been subjected to racist vitriol from corners of the Star Wars fandom, largely in response to her tweets condemning systemic racism in the US.
—Krystina Arielle (@KrystinaArielle) January 23, 2021
On Friday, the official "Star Wars" account on Twitter responded to the mounting harassment: "Our Star Wars community is one of hope and inclusivity. We do not stand for bullying and racism. We support @KrystinaArielle."
—Star Wars (@starwars) January 23, 2021
Many fans were appreciative of the statement, describing it as "important."
However, many were also quick to note past failures by the franchise to protect its cast members of color.
"Great to see Lucasfilm/Disney realize they should stand up for members of their community who face unspeakable, hateful harassment," The Verge's Julia Alexander wrote. "It's still infuriating they did not do this for John Boyega, Kelly Marie Tran, Daisy Ridley."
"This is good. We as fans should always ask for better."
—julia alexander (@loudmouthjulia) January 23, 2021
Kelly Marie Tran, who portrayed Rose Tico in 2017's "The Last Jedi," was infamously targeted by fans who didn't like her character, driving her away from social media entirely. Tran, who is Vietnamese-American, described much of her harassment as racist and sexist.
Tran returned as Tico in 2019's "The Rise of Skywalker," but for a noticeably diminished role in the plot.
Boyega has since called out Disney for marginalizing him and consistently sidelining characters of color.
"When it came to Kelly Marie Tran, when it came to John Boyega, [Disney knew] f--- all," Boyega told GQ in November. "So what do you want me to say? What they want you to say is, 'I enjoyed being a part of it. It was a great experience...' Nah, nah, nah. I'll take that deal when it's a great experience."
"You guys knew what to do with Daisy Ridley, you knew what to do with Adam Driver," he continued, adding that costars like Naomi Ackie, who is also Black, and Oscar Isaac, who is Guatemalan and Cuban-American, suffered the same treatment.
Given these previous issues, some critics described Star Wars' defense of Arielle as "performative" and "hypocritical."
—MNsota_Art (@MNsota_art) January 23, 2021
—georgia (@grogulovebot) January 23, 2021
—Daisy Cutie Ridley (@CutieRidley) January 23, 2021
Other fans brought up "The Mandalorian" star Gina Carano, who was called out in November for sharing anti-mask memes and voter fraud theories.
Some believe that her employment is incongruous with a Star Wars community focused on "hope and inclusivity."
—Grecia | ️| (@reyofgreenplces) January 23, 2021
—Grace she/her (@graciemaynard23) January 23, 2021
—✊✊✊ - Del Boof Burrito (@huffybigpup) January 23, 2021
—Kelly M ✨ Constantly Choking on Her Aspirations (@Kello_Ren) January 23, 2021
Representatives for Walt Disney Studios did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
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