Earlier this month, Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best revealed on Twitter that the backlash over the oft maligned Star Wars character had led him to nearly end his own life. Now, actor Simon Pegg, who was among those who mocked the character, admits that he feels guilty for his part in the negativity.
In an interview with Now This, Pegg admits that he's ashamed that he contributed to the hate and negativity that led Best to want to end his own life over his portrayal of Jar Jar.
"I feel so ashamed of the fact that there was actually a victim, a human victim in that," Pegg said. "I think most people were regarding Jar Jar Binks like he was a real creature and wailing on him for being annoying, or whatever, or not liking him. But there was a person behind that. And I read that and just thought, 'Christ, I'm one of those people.' It makes me feel awful."
Best previously shared a post on Twitter reflecting on his Star Wars legacy while also celebrating his greatest work as a dad. It's in that post he revealed that he almost ended his life.
"20 years next year I faced a media backlash that still affects my career today," he wrote. "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. Would this be a good story for my solo show? Lemme know."
For those unaware, Best's character, Jar Jar Binks appeared in the Star Wars prequel trilogy and while he went on to collaborate with George Lucas on other Star Wars projects such as The Clone Wars, the Star Wars fandom didn't receive Jar Jar particularly well with the character ending up a polarizing one that quickly became the subject of jokes and mockery from fans. Pegg himself even made Jar Jar jokes and has long been outspoken about his dislike for the prequel trilogy.
Now, though, Pegg acknowledges that toxicity within Star Wars fandom -- and other fandoms -- has become problematic, specifically noting Star Wars: The Last Jedi star Kelly Marie Tran who reportedly left social media over alleged bullying related to her role in the film.
"There's no diplomacy in that, there's no empathy," Pegg said. "We're becoming very, very insular as human beings. We're becoming very self-driven, selfist, our opinions, our needs, our wants. I feel sorry for Kelly Marie Tran because she was just in a film -- a f***ing film, that's all it is. None of it matters, none of it."6comments
"I think it would be nice if everyone just got on," he added. "You know and stopped being so aggressive."
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