Jar Jar Binks Actor Says Fan Backlash Almost Drove Him To Suicide
"20 years next year I faced a media backlash that still affects my career today."
The Star Wars fandom has had some tough press lately. Becoming synonymous with bad behaviour, the so-called diehard fans of the series bullied Kellie Marie Tran off social media, and now there's a ridiculous crowdfunding campaign to remake The Last Jedi.
You might think this is just in response to the new films, but one of the actors from the Star Wars prequels has recently opened up about his own experience with the fans.
Ahmed Best was the actor who provided the voice and motion capture for one of the most maligned characters in the Star Wars universe: Jar Jar Binks.
Posting an image of himself with his son, Best tweeted, "20 years next year I faced a media backlash that still affects my career today".
"This was the place I almost ended my life. It's still hard to talk about. I survived and now this little guy is my gift for survival."
Jar Jar was brutally mocked and derided for years after his first appearance in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace as well the follow-up cameos in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.
Many fans reached out to Best after his tweet, including Last Jedi writer and director Rian Johnson.
Best spoke to Wired last year about his experiences post-Jar Jar saying, "failing and being black is very scary, because we don't get a lot of chances".
"I didn’t get another chance after Jar Jar. No one said, ‘You know, that didn’t work. But I believe in you, and you’re a good actor.’ I didn’t get another chance. I just struck out. But as soon as I started doing my own thing, that’s when things took off."
After an outpouring of love on Twitter Best thanked fans for the support, saying he planned to turn his experience with Star Wars into a show.
If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact beyondblue on 1300 224 636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.
Featured image: Lucasfilm.