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Star Wars was forced to release a statement urging fans not to be racist after Obi-Wan actor Moses Ingram received abuse online.
Ingram stars as Inquisitor Reva Sevander in the new series, which began airing on Disney+ on 27 May and marked star Ewan McGregor's return to the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi more than 15 years since his last appearance.
Trailers for the new series showed Ingram in action as a Jedi Hunter, but following the release of the series last week, the actor started receiving numerous messages of abuse from viewers.
In a post on her Instagram Story, Ingram shared screenshots of the abusive messages she has received, including one instance of an internet user saying her 'days are numbered'.
The actor told fans there are 'hundreds' of such messages, but thanked those who have showed their support for her as she wrote: "And I also see those of you out there who put on the cape for me and that really does mean the world to me. Because there’s nothing anybody can do about this. There’s nothing anybody can do to stop this hate.”
In the wake of the abuse, Star Wars released a statement on its official Twitter account to stress it is '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. There are more than 20 million sentient species in the Star Wars galaxy, don’t choose to be a racist," it continued.
Ingram has also received support from McGregor, who shared a video on Twitter to condemn the attacks against his co-star.
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
“It seems that some of this fan base… have decided to attack Moses Ingram online and send her the most horrendous, racist DMs and I heard some of them this morning and it just broke my heart,” he said.
“Moses is a brilliant actor, she’s a brilliant woman, and she’s absolutely amazing in this series.”
Lucasfilm, which produces Star Wars, is said to have warned Ingram about the reception she might receive following the release of the series, as she told The Independent: "It was something that Lucasfilm actually got in front of, and said, ‘This is a thing that, unfortunately, likely will happen. But we are here to help you; you can let us know when it happens'."
Ingram has previously made clear that she is 'super-grateful' that she is able to bring Reva's character to life, telling Complex it is 'important for girls and young women' and adding: "You can win as a girl."
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org
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