What most fans already knew has been scientifically proven.
Racist and sexist attitudes sparked a backlash against Star War’s characters played by Kelly Marie Tran and John Boyega.
Finn played by Boyega (pictured with Tran above) and Rose Tico played by Tran are part of the new characters added to the later sequels of the Star Wars trilogy.
The backlash against the Vietnamese American actress was so strong that the actress deleted all her Instagram posts.
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Psypost reports that researchers surveyed 1925 Star Wars fans and asked them to rate six Star Wars Characters. The older characters were White (Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Padme Amidala), the newer were actors of color (Finn, Rey, and Rose Tico).
“Researchers analyzed tweets from fans and offered mixed interpretations. We decided to conduct this study to examine if there was a link between fans’ degree of racism, sexism, and preference for new and old characters,” said study author Stephen Reysen, a professor at Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Fans who agreed with statements that “Racial minorities are getting too demanding in their push for equal rights” and “if racial minorities would only try harder they could be just as well off as Whites” were more likely to rate the characters played by minorities lower.
The same occurred for people who agreed with “Women exaggerate problems at work” and “Most women interpret innocent remarks as sexist.”
“The findings suggest that the perception that fan backlash against older, more diverse, characters is partly related to fan attitudes to racism and sexism.” Fans’ real-world prejudices may influence their media preferences,” Reysen told List23.
However, overall Star Wars fans were not racist and sexist, said Reysen. “The results do not suggest that there is a large part of the Star Wars fandom supporting these beliefs. Rather there is simply an association.”
According to We Got This Covered, the applause for Tran at a recent Star Wars convention was so overwhelming and long, it brought her to tears.
The study also found the association with negative perception of minority characters and racist attitudes also occurs in other franchises such as Star Trek, Ghostbusters and Doctor Who.
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