If there’s one thing you can count on when it comes to Star Wars and a large part of its fandom, it’s that they will find new and unique ways to make anyone who isn’t White feel unwelcome and unappreciated when it comes to being a part of the Star Wars universe.
And if your first response to reading that sentence is “Oh, f-ck you, Brain (you know, because your anger has probably caused you to not spell my name right), that is not true!,” please keep reading.
Last February, it was announced that Lucasfilm would be releasing a new subseries of comic books and novels called Star Wars: The High Republic. The stories would be written by authors Claudia Gray, Justina Ireland, Daniel José Older, Cavan Scott, and Charles Soule and would take place two hundred years before the events of the Skywalker Saga that began in Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace. The project was expected to be launched later in 2020, but due to the worldwide catastrof-ck that is the COVID-19 pandemic, its release was delayed until January of 2021.
And it was announced earlier this month that there would be a companion webseries called Star Wars: The High Republic Show hosted by actress/cosplayer/tabletop role-playing gamer Krystina Arielle to interview the authors about their work on Star Wars: The High Republic, as well as answer questions that fans might have about any of the books in the series.
This past Friday, the editor-in-chief for Bounding Into Comics, an alt-right pop-culture website which is not worth reading in any way, shape, or form, and which I sure as hell am not going to link to, posted an article about Krystina with the headline: “Newly Announced Star Wars: The High Republic Host Krystina Arielle Calls All White People Racist.” In this article, which I read so that you don’t have to, the editor-in-chief discussed the announcement of Krystina’s new gig hosting The High Republic Show before writing this:
“It will be interesting to see if the show will also cover Arielle’s opinions about white people as well as she has made her opinions very clear about them on Twitter over the past year. As first reported by Disney Star Wars Is Dumb, Arielle took to Twitter in May, she wrote, “White people: f***ing stop it. Your racism won’t save you. Your ignorance is not an excuse.”
He then posted numerous screenshots of Krystina’s past tweets in which she calls out racism, and makes it abundantly clear that the responsibility for ending racism and making this hellmouth of a country a lot less racist falls upon White people and no one else.
And the other infuriating and controversial opinions that Krystina shared about White people on her Twitter page?
White people: please hear me when I say now is not the time. It’s not the time for you to try to prove you aren’t racist in every post about racism. It’s not the time to center yourself and your feelings. Our grief has no space for your absolution right now.— Krystina Arielle 🦖 (@KrystinaArielle) May 29, 2020
https://t.co/SsDmy9PLLn— Krystina Arielle 🦖 (@KrystinaArielle) September 18, 2019
I don't need nor do I want your performative wokeness post about "other white people" you're not those white people" , or your understanding of what I just stated clearly. I'm not here to absolve you I'm here to speak the truth.
You do not have to comment under every post about racism that you’re “trying to be better”. “Have read x,y,z.” Any combination of ugh white people, when you are white people. I do not care. Talk is cheap. I’m not here for your accountability check ups.— Krystina Arielle 🦖 (@KrystinaArielle) June 24, 2020
White people will defend a fictional character before they’ll stand up for Black people. https://t.co/ZZwQuTtnku— Krystina Arielle 🦖 (@KrystinaArielle) June 24, 2020
White conservatives please stop invoking racism like you give a shit . You don’t. You just want to be able to say “what about” when someone calls out 45 and his blatant racism. https://t.co/DIprVopzFQ— Krystina Arielle 🦖 (@KrystinaArielle) May 26, 2020
Basically, what Krystina said in those tweets have been and continue to be said by many other Black people, and by White accomplices who feel the same way and who consistently put in the work to try and not make Black people’s lives any more difficult than they already are. And much like how they miss the point in assuming that Black Lives Matter means that “only Black lives matter,” racist White people instantly assume that when they’re called out for their racism, that all White people are racist and are being called racist.
It’s not at all surprising that the editor-in-chief of Bounding Into Comics (who deserves to be blindfolded, barefoot, and handcuffed as he’s locked in a room with LEGO blocks all over the floor) completely missed the point of Krystina’s tweets so that he could go ahead and do exactly what she tweeted about by invoking racism against her as if he gives anything resembling a shit and caring more about someone calling him and people like him a racist than they do about their actual racism, but you still can’t help but shake your head at the irony of it all.
To make matters even worse, once the article was posted online, it grabbed the attention of alt-right political activist/Internet troll/person who deserves to have his dick trapped in a condom that is filled with fire-ants Jack Posobiec, who retweeted the article on his own Twitter page so that his 1.1 million followers could see it for themselves while they’re eating dinner at Applebee’s, and harassing Black people as they attempt to enter the apartment buildings that they live in.
And unfortunately, there were plenty of racist f-ckboys and Pick-Mes who immediately took the bait and started hopping into Krystina’s mentions on Twitter and Instagram in order to start making her life an absolute hell by calling her a monkey, by calling her a nigger, by saying that she hates White people, that she only got her job hosting The High Republic Show because of affirmative action, that White supremacy doesn’t even exist, that she’s just as bad for saying that all White people are racist (despite the fact that she neither said nor implied that), and that she needs to just die already.
You know, many of the usual classics that too many Black people are used to hearing from racist White people when they insist on making themselves heard. This disgusting behavior against Krystina wasn’t limited to Twitter and Instagram, as there were also some YouTube personalities who quickly began posting videos about this situation as well, not just so they could lash out against Krystina and bring more attention to her so that their fans who behave like Nazi children could also join the party and bully her online once they finished masturbating in Harlan Thrombey’s bathroom, but also so that they continue talking sh-t about Star Wars and how Disney/Lucasfilm ruined it all with Rian Johnson a.k.a. “Ruin Johnson,” and with forced diversity, and with acting like a bunch of SJWs, and with Rey being a Mary Sue, and not giving the movies back to George Lucas so he could get Star Wars right and so on and so forth and the usual bullsh-t that they’ve been spouting nonstop since the day they found out that a Black man would be playing a Stormtrooper.
It didn’t take very long for Krystina’s followers on Twitter, as well as plenty of other people, to take notice of the bullsh-t that was being done to her and speak out on her behalf. They soon created the hashtag #IStandWithKrystina and made it clear that Krystina deserved nothing but love and support from others on Twitter and especially from Star Wars fans, and that any racism and bullying against her would not be tolerated.
“Racism has no place in Star Wars. #IStandwithKrystina”
“Read every word of these deeply hateful, racist messages Krystina received. Take them in as if they were said to you. Imagine the depth of character & resilience you must possess to say yes to Star Wars, knowing this flood was not just possible, but likely. #IStandWithKrystina”
“#IStandWithKrystina protect Black creators. Krystina speaking out on white supremacy, white privilege, and the complicity of whiteness in America is not an easy or safe thing to do. Black voices BELONG in Star Wars. Protect Black voices #IStandWithKrystina”
“If someone calls out racist white people and you feel attacked by that, it’s time to reevaluate what kind of person you are.” #IStandWithKrystina
“If seeing Luke Skywalker swoop in to save the day is enough to move you to tears but you don’t use your platform to call out racists in fandom, I have to question if you’re gleaning anything at all from Star Wars besides adolescent power fantasies.”
“I’ll never get over the loudest most hateful Star Wars fans not understanding the teachings and messages of the franchise they’ve dedicated their life to.” Racism against and harassing creators needs to stop. It has no place in Star Wars. Or anywhere. #IStandWithKrystina”
“Y’all racists really trying to take down Krystina? A badass woman who has earned everything she’s accomplished & who deserves every spotlight shone upon her in this industry? A woman whose role in LITERAL STAR WARS CANON is an inspiration to so many? Hell no. #IStandWithKrystina”
“Alt-right trolls coming after a bright, strong black woman as she advances her career? Why am I not surprised. These are the same folks who stormed our nation’s Capitol earlier this month. I stand against their hate, and #IStandWithKrystina”
“No clue who Jack Posobiec is but a look at his timeline says he’s an asshole who can’t handle when it’s not about him. However, I do know that Krystina is a good person and she deserves better than being harassed by comicsgate trash like Bounding Into Comics. #IStandWithKrystina”
“Bounding into comics is a bunch of racist nonsense written by people who encourage the abuse and harassment of others in the name of white supremacy. #IStandWithKrystina.”
“Racism is rampant in the Star Wars community and needs to be confronted every time it rears its ugly head. Tired of watching POC be actively targeted & harassed out of this space. Krystina’s a wonderful person and she doesn’t deserve this. *No one* does. #IStandWithKrystina”
“If you want to help Krystina Arielle, I repeat, hunt her hunters. Go to Twitter search and type in her name. Then report each and every tweet you see that is targeting her. The drop-down menu has multiple options for what you’re reporting. Check the ones that apply. Do it hourly.”
Later that same evening, the official Twitter account for Star Wars made their stance crystal-clear when it came to Krystina Arielle and how she was being treated.
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
And while there were some people who greatly appreciated this gesture and this show of support for Krystina, there were others who felt that the gesture was a hollow one. That these words from Disney/Lucasfilm were just as meaningless as The CW tweeting last summer about how Black Lives Matter, only for Warner Bros. to remain absolutely silent about the racism that Candice Patton (who plays Iris West on The Flash) has dealt with for years from fans and from trolls who call themselves fans but who are really anything but. Who would allow a Black staff writer like Nadria Tucker to be fired from Superman & Lois after months of work and months of pointing out the problematic content in many of the scripts. Who would allow Ray Fisher to deal with racism and misconduct from Joss Whedon, Geoff Johns, and Jon Berg on the set of Justice League before kicking him to the curb and instead of showing their support to the person who tried to prevent Fisher from speaking out about said mistreatment. And they didn’t hesitate to call out Disney/Lucasfilm on their hypocrisy. Especially when it came to Gina Carano (who is also one of Posobiec’s many followers) and her continued employment by them as a cast member of The Mandalorian. And especially when it came to how Disney/Lucasfilm failed to support John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran when they were cast members in the Star Wars sequel trilogy.
“Great to see Lucasfilm/Disney realize they should stand up for members of their community who face unspeakable, hateful harassment. 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.”
“It’s about time they started speaking up on behalf of their People of Colour employees. Star Wars has been beyond lax when it comes to speaking out against racism, anti-Blackness, sexism, and bigotry in the fandom. Get Gina Carano out of there.”
“What about the time Kelly Marie Tran and Daisy Ridley were driven off social media and had to get therapy? What about the time Ahmed Best wanted to end his life? What about the time you made John Boyega smaller on the poster to sell more seats in China? Don’t stand for ANY of it.”
“star wars really said their community is one of hope and inclusivity…… i think the experiences of john boyega, naomi ackie, kelly marie tran and oscar isaac say otherwise.”
“This is a good and necessary step, and acknowledging that doesn’t erase the times LFL has failed to step up to the task when its creatives have been confronted with racist abuse in the past, with Kelly, John, Justinia, and others. This clarity must be the baseline going forward.”
“If Disney has the means to stop a grieving father from putting the Spider-Man logo on his son’s grave, surely they have the time, means, and legal might to deplatform the racist Star Wars YouTubers that harass their employees.”
“What does it say about the Star Wars fandom when everyone I’ve seen is completely surprised that the brand actually said something and stood up for one of their employees against the racist harassment she’s been getting”
“star wars has an alt-right problem. the sooner it addresses it, the less hollow all those “we stand against racism” tweets will be”
“Ahmed Best, John Boyega, Kelly Marie Tran, Daisy Ridley & now Krystina — plus countless marginalised fans — all have faced racist and/or sexist abuse & hate campaigns from Star Wars “fans” for simply loving or being part of a story about goddamn SPACE WIZARDS!!! IT HAS TO STOP!!!”
Some of the people on Twitter calling out Disney/Lucasfilm for their hypocrisy as they showed support for Krystina Arielle were upset because they expected that same support from them for Gina Carano. One of those people was YouTube personality/Honest Trailers co-creator/accused sex offender Andy Signore.
I never heard of Krystina… but I’m confused where your tweet of support for @ginacarano was? She’s been endlessly bullied for things she’s never even said. Stop picking favorites and be truly inclusive by supporting ALL your talent equally no matter who they vote for ✌🏻♥️. pic.twitter.com/7MLWGBuy19— Andy Signore (@andysignore) January 23, 2021
This was soon followed by lots of people on Twitter reminding Signore of the fact that he’s a sex offender and that his opinions (especially his contrarian, let-me-play-Devil’s Advocate opinions regarding people who indulge in abusive and astoundingly sh-tty behavior that is hurtful to others) carry about as much weight as daylight.
At least one person on Twitter made the very wise suggestion that Disney/Lucasfilm get rid of Gina Carano and simply replace her with Lana Parrilla, who played Regina, the Evil Queen on ABC’s Once Upon A Time.
Not surprisingly, it wasn’t easy for Krystina to deal with all of the online harassment that has been aimed in her direction…
We the last 24 hours have been … not the greatest. pic.twitter.com/v0Sx8PNcIg— Krystina Arielle 🦖 (@KrystinaArielle) January 23, 2021
…But Krystina also made it very clear that she has the love of family and friends, and the immortal words of the late and legendary Dr. Maya Angelou, to help her keep her head up.
Two things I have: Really great friends and a headache.— Krystina Arielle 🦖 (@KrystinaArielle) January 22, 2021
Doctor Maya Angelou said it best. pic.twitter.com/GnfLW4Kdke— Krystina Arielle 🦖 (@KrystinaArielle) January 23, 2021
If you’re reading this post and if you hate everything you’ve read about how Krystina has been treated, do what you can to show your support for her and for anyone else like Krystina who deals with racism and online bullying, and is made to feel as if they are unwelcome and unworthy and as if they deserve what’s happening to them simply because of who they are, and where they’re from, and what they look like.
If you’re reading this and you’re one of the many racist trolls responsible for harassing Krystina Arielle, who intend on continuing to harass Krystina Arielle, who exhibit this same horrible behavior towards plenty of other people who aren’t White (especially towards Black women, because they are and always will be one of your very favorite targets), and who do everything possible to make the Star Wars fandom one of the worst f-cking fandoms in all of pop-culture, this message was, is, and always will be for every single f-cking one of you unwashed a—holes who truly don’t deserve to enjoy anything good or pleasant, not when it comes to Star Wars or anything else in this life…
Header Image Source: Disney