Obi-Wan Kenobi star Moses Ingram has addressed the racist abuse that she has suffered since the series launched on Disney Plus, with Star Wars also releasing an official statement expressing their support for the actor.
The new show sees Moses make her debut as a Force-sensitive Inquisitor called Reva, facing off against Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) while working for the terrifying Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen).
Before the series even premiered, The Queen’s Gambit star Moses admitted that she anticipated racist comments, saying that Lucasfilm ‘actually got in front’ of it by telling her: ‘We are here to help you; you can let us know when it happens.’
In new posts shared on her Instagram Story, the 29-year-old shared just a few examples of the hateful messages she has received, one of which said: ‘Your days are numbered,’ while another dubbed her a ‘diversity hire’.
‘Long story short, there are hundreds of those. Hundreds,’ Moses said in a video.
‘And I also see those of you out there who put on a cape for me and that really does mean the world to me because, you know, there’s nothing anybody can do about this.’
The actor continued, saying that she questioned why she made the video as ‘there’s nothing anybody can do to stop this hate’.
‘I don’t really know. I don’t really know. But I think the thing that bothers me is that like, sort of this feeling that I’ve had inside of myself. This feeling that no one has told me, but like I just got to shut up and take it. I just got to bury it. And I’m not built like that,’ she said.
Concluding her video, Moses said: ‘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 I’m not going to put myself. And to the rest of y’all, y’all weird.’
The official Star Wars Twitter account demonstrated their public support for the Obi-Wan Kenobi star by writing in a statement: ‘We are proud to welcome Moses Ingram to the Star Wars family and excited for Reva’s story to unfold. If anyone intends to make her feel in any way unwelcome, we have only one thing to say: we resist.’
In a second tweet, they added: ‘There are more than 20 million sentient species in the Star Wars galaxy, don’t choose to be a racist.’
Moses isn’t the first actor to suffer racist abuse after joining the Star Wars franchise, with John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran also having hateful messages directed their way.
Speaking to GQ in 2020, John – who played Stormtrooper Finn in the sequel trilogy – said: ‘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.”’
He also criticised Disney for ‘pushing the Black character aside’, stating: ‘What I would say to Disney is do not bring out a black character, market them to be much more important in the franchise than they are and then have them pushed to the side. It’s not good. I’ll say it straight up.’
Kelly, who played Rose in the sequel trilogy, quit Instagram after being subjected to vile sexist and racist abuse about her Asian heritage.
‘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,’ she wrote for The New York Times in 2018.
‘And that feeling, I realise 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.’
Obi-Wan Kenobi is available to watch on Disney Plus with new episodes released on Wednesdays.