This morning, Star Wars made several social media posts warning its fans not to be racist against actress Moses Ingram. “There are more than 20 million sentient species in the Star Wars galaxy, don’t choose to be a racist,” their Facebook post reads. “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.” Ingram appears in Obi-Wan Kenobi as Inquisitor Reva, AKA the Third Sister. She relentlessly pursues Obi-Wan to win the favor of Darth Vader, no matter what her fellow Inquisitors and superior, the Grand Inquisitor, advise. Ingram previously played the role of Jolene DeWitt in The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix. Check out the Tweet here:
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. pic.twitter.com/lZW0yvseBk
— Star Wars (@starwars) May 31, 2022
Let me start by saying racism is wrong. That should go without saying, especially these days, but I want to clarify that in a vacuum, I agree with their message. It’s not right to judge people by the color of their skin, gender, etc. However, was anyone doing this to Ms. Ingram? I don’t care for the character of Reva at all, not even as an antagonist to Obi-Wan. I think she is not only unlikeable (which would be okay for a villain) but unprofessional, lacking charisma and poise. Are people really directing frustration with the character (which is valid) at the actress personally (which isn’t)? The post is worded like it’s preemptive, and that’s where my distaste for it comes from. Well, that, and the word “resist,” which is an obvious nod to the sequel trilogy. Bleh.
When the sequels were coming out, Lucasfilm frequently chalked complaints about the films’ characters up to racism and an aversion to strong women. I fear they’re now doing this again, equating healthy criticism of a fictional character to unacceptable harassment and bullying. Moses Ingram is just an actress doing her job. While it’s fair to criticize her performance, it’s not right to complain about her race or personal life. The thing is, I haven’t seen any personal criticism or racist verbiage aimed at her. Where is this supposed outrage? I would hate for the Star Wars fandom to be labeled as hateful, incel fanboys again when I’m still not sure whether or how much harassment took place, to begin with. Lucasfilm is the only company I know of that regularly, openly insults its own paying customers, AKA the people who allow it to exist.
It should be safe to criticize characters regardless of the race and gender of the performer, but everything is political now. Frustrating how they equate the character with the actor in these cases.
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That’s the thing – I have heard that Ms. Ingram was getting some hateful DMs on Instagram, I think, but I personally have not witnessed any sort of harassment or bullying of her personally, just criticisms of her character. If Reva was a white male, you can be sure “those people” would not be accusing the people with valid criticisms of the character of the usual -ists and -isms. I don’t recall people getting bent out of shape for Adam Driver when Kylo Ren was being criticized.