Why Did Kelly Marie Tran Receive a Standing Ovation Onstage?

The recent Star Wars Celebration from April 11-15 was arguably one of the most memorable ever, thanks to a surprise host — Stephen Colbert — and the trailer debut of Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. With the entire new trilogy cast there for a panel interview, we saw one notable moment occur: When Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico) walked out, she received a rousing standing ovation.

It was well-deserved when you realize what she’s gone through on social media since appearing in The Last Jedi. She’s become a new emblem and warning tale about racism and the potential toxicity of social media.

The audience was aware of Kelly Marie Tran’s social media drama

Maybe not everyone was aware that Tran shut down her Instagram account last summer due to months of continual harassment and general bullying. Only fans who witnessed this horrendous time were aware of how bad it became.

If you did happen to see it, you would have thought social media was descending completely into an abyss of madness that it would never recover from. Tran taking action to shut down her account brought widespread media publicity and awareness about what she went through.

Tran’s bullying experience was especially haunting because she’d gone through similar situations in the real world living as a minority actress.

Why is Kelly Marie Tran still not on social media?

Many stars have suffered through online abuse just because of their race or gender.

Some fan bases are so ravenous in keeping things the same, they freak out and take their venom out on new stars coming in to bring diversity to a project. This is mostly what happened on Tran’s Instagram, but it was also trolls, who probably hated Star Wars and everything else in existence.

Many similarly bullied stars have made a triumphant return to social media after initially closing their accounts. Leslie Jones is a good example of this: She came back more popular than ever to flush out further bullying efforts.

Tran’s case is a different story. So far, she hasn’t returned. You can see why, when you consider how much more harassment she’s had to endure in her life beyond Instagram. Ultimately, the decision to return lies solely in her comfort level and ability to find a time and platform that makes her feel safe.

Daisy Ridley quit social media due to harassment

Tran isn’t the only female Star Wars cast member to face online abuse: Daisy Ridley is also a victim. As you might remember, Ridley quit Instagram back in 2016 when she went through similar abuse shortly after The Force Awakens released. At the time, she said social media was bad for mental health and wasn’t worth enduring continual harassment just to reach out to true fans.

As usual, those who want to make things horrible are the ones who ruin it for everyone else. You’ll find no argument from fans that thought of having Ridley and Tran on social media added fun and a more enjoyable layer thanks to their openness to fan interaction.

Things haven’t become much better recently when you add in angry male Marvel fans going after Brie Larson for playing Captain Marvel. Sites like Rotten Tomatoes took action, something social media sites are still lax on to avoid the repression of free speech. Most of us know even free speech has to draw a line before descending into a hellish point of no return.

Hopefully, Tran and Ridley have given each other support due to both enduring social media issues.