Saturday, January 5, 2019

Ahmed Best Opens Up About His Suicidal Moment In Powerful New Video

By: Dominic Jones

Last year, Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best opened up about how he had considered suicide following the fan and media backlash he faced after the release of The Phantom Menace.  Best's revelation brought into focus the human cost of toxic fandom, and how the actions of so-called fans can have very real implications for their targets.  Best spoke about the backlash as well as why he opened up about it in a new video released on the SoulPancake YouTube Channel, which you can see below,

In the video, Best lays out why he took the attacks of fans so personally, including the racists comments that were made about him.  While we would all like to believe that this is something that happened in the past but doesn't happen anymore, events that took place in 2018 (around the same time Ahmed opened up about his experience) prove otherwise.  

Following the release of The Last Jedi, Rose Tico actress faced a similar backlash from certain alleged fans (and I say alleged because if someone was truly a fan of Star Wars, and understood what the films are about, they wouldn't behave that way).  Tran, the first Asian woman in a prominent role in the Star Wars film, deleted her Instagram account after she was inundated with racist and sexist comments.  She later responded in a powerful editorial released in the New York Times, which if you haven't read yet you absolutely should.

While this issue is by no means exclusive to Star Wars, fans who value the series and what it stands for should all be making sure they are celebrating and uplifting the people involved, as well as calling out the bad behavior of others who seek to bully and harass.  Regardless of how you feel about Jar Jar, Rose, The Phantom Menace, The Last Jedi, or any other film or character.  Best and Tran should also be commended for sharing their experiences so that we can hopefully ensure this sort of thing does not keep happening.

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