Anna Diop has disabled comments on her Instagram account following a racist backlash from comic book fans after her casting in new TV show ‘Titans’.
Diop will play an alien princess called Koriand’r/Starfire in the new series, a part of the DC Universe.
However, comic book fans started a backlash at the casting, with many posting what Diop herself referred to as “racist, derogatory and/or cruel comments” in a now deleted Instagram post. Most of Diop’s Instagram posts have also now been deleted.
The backlash started originally in April when a photo of the star leaked online. It began again recently after a trailer for the show was released at San Diego’s Comic-Con.
The actress wrote: “Racist, derogatory and/or cruel comments have nothing to do with the person on the receiving end of that abuse. And because I know this – I am unfazed.”
The reaction to the casting promoted anger from many on Twitter, including Paul Feig, director of the latest Ghostbusters movie. His all female-reboot received sexist abuse and cast member Leslie Jones also received racist abuse online.
He said: “Comic book fan community: You have to loudly denounce these racist trolls who make these attacks.”
“The fan community cannot allow itself to get painted with this brush when it’s such a small number of hateful people doing this.”
Meanwhile, on social media, many fans have offered support for Diop whilst criticising those responsible for the abuse.
Comic book fan community: You have to loudly denounce these racist trolls who make these attacks. They do not represent the fan community and the fan community cannot allow itself to get painted with this brush when it’s such a small number of hateful people doing this. Stand up. https://t.co/ZlRmgpZq8O
— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) July 25, 2018
Yes but the media is going to keep doing it and so odds are they’ll also cover the true fans denouncing the racists if enough people speak up. But staying silent can no longer be an option if you don’t want the whole community to get unfairly painted with this brush by the media. https://t.co/uO7ocOuHbv
— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) July 25, 2018
#IStandbyAnnaDiop and can't wait to see what you guys have written for our Princess also very very excited to see what @TheAnnaDiop does with the material you have given her! @TitansWriters @DCUTitans pic.twitter.com/PoL7sTONlV
— Anna Diop Daily (@dailyannadiop) July 23, 2018
We need to adress the underlying racism present in “nerd culture.” I have been highly critical of Titans and I think Anna Diop and the rest of the cast may have been set up to fail. But there’s no excuse for the abuse women of color routinely face from fans in the industry https://t.co/rb4luQBFt2
— Elijah Stewart (@EJ_Stewart) July 25, 2018
Earlier this year, Star Wars actress star Kelly Marie Tran deleted her Instagram account following months of racist and sexist abuse from racist fans following her appearance in The Last Jedi. Tran became the first woman of colour to play a leading role in the franchise.
Last Jedi director Rian Johnson took on one of Tran’s trolls, writing: “You know the difference between not liking a movie and hatefully harassing a woman so bad she has to get off social media?”
At the time of the film’s initial release, Tran explained how special it was to be welcomed into the Star Wars universe.
“So many people wish for something like this. I still don’t believe I’m doing it,” she said. “Rose is not an amazing pilot or a jedi. She’s strong in a different way.”
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) June 6, 2018
i ♥️ #kellymarietran and her incredible work in The Last Jedi.
— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) June 6, 2018
Seriously, fix your fucking life if you do shit like this. This isn’t fandom, its not loving a thing. It’s harassment. It’s abusive behavior done by sexist, racist man babies. https://t.co/MpyhSMuu1h
— Cher (@thecherness) June 5, 2018
Many stars came out in support of Tran following the abuse, including her co-stars John Boyega and Mark Hamil.
Boyega spoke out against Tran’s harassment on Twitter saying: “If you don’t like Star Wars or the characters understand that there are decisions makers and harassing the actors/ actresses will do nothing,” he wrote on Twitter. “You’re not entitled to politeness when your approach is rude. Even if you paid for a ticket!”
He continued: “To the majority of Star Wars fans thank you for supporting and putting yourselves in our shoes. You understand that there is a process so much appreciated!”