Star Wars supports High Republic host after racist abuse

Krystina Arielle attends Nerdbot Con, a cosplay convention
Krystina Arielle received a barrage of abuse from Twitter users

The official Star Wars Twitter account has tweeted in support for Krystina Arielle, the host of the upcoming Star Wars: The High Republic Show, after she received online harassment.

Tweets by Arielle surfaced of her speaking about the role white people play in upholding racism. She then started receiving racist abuse, and accusations of being racist, but Star Wars tweeted in support of her, stating: “Our Star Wars community is one of hope and inclusivity”. Ms Arielle was recently announced as the host of The High Republic Show, an upcoming web series about Star Wars: The High Republic, a new subseries of the Star Wars media franchise. She came under attack after social media users resurfaced numerous old tweets, mostly from last year when protests were taking place around the world in support of Black Lives Matter.

In some of her past tweets, Arielle references white people while giving opinions on systemic racism. In one, she states: “Just a reminder that white women are just as complicit in upholding and enforcing white supremacy.” “The last 24 hours have been not the greatest,” she tweeted on Saturday, along with screenshots of highly offensive, racist messages, but many have spoken out in support of Arielle, while the hashtag #IStandWithKrystina started trending on Twitter. Matthew Mercer, host of the Critical Role podcast, which has featured her, said: “There are few as bright, badass and altogether wonderful as [Krystina Arielle], and anyone who tries to step into her ring better know we’re right there beside her.”

This is not the first time someone involved in the Star Wars franchise has reported receiving racist abuse. Actor John Boyega said his casting in The Force Awakens elicited a blatantly racist backlash from some fans. “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 told British GQ last year. “Nobody else had that experience. But yet people are surprised that I’m this way. That’s my frustration.”

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