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Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best says he is overwhelmed by the amount of support and kindness he has received in recent days after revealing he almost took his own life following the brutal backlash to his Star Wars character.
Although he did not name the franchise in his first post, Best wrote that it was coming up on 20 years since he faced a resentment “that still affects my career today.” Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace was released in 1999. It was Best’s first major role in a film.
Best said he nearly ended his life because of the hatred aimed at him.
A throng of fans felt this to be unacceptable and made sure Best knew he did a great job with the character, who appeared in three prequels.
“Thank you all for your love and kindness,” Best wrote on social media in response. “It’s been overwhelming.”
One of those who reached out to say how much he enjoyed Jar Jar was none other than Star Wars icon Frank Oz.
“I LOVED Jar Jar Binks,” the Yoda actor said on Twitter. “I know I’ll get raked over the coals for saying that but I just will never understand the harshness of people’s dislike of him. I do character work. He is a GREAT character! Okay. Go ahead. Shoot. Gimme all ya got—but you’ll never make me change my mind.”
Best was touched by the kind words.
“Thanks @TheFrankOzJam you’ve always been kind, generous and supportive,” he wrote. “Love to you my friend.”
Best is the latest, but certainly not the first, Star Wars actor to reveal how vilely some fans of the franchise have treated him because they did not like the character.
Last month, Last Jedi actress Kelly Marie Tran left social media over the abuse she had to endure from those who did not like Rose in the latest film. Mark Hamill and director Rian Johnson were among those who came to her defense and said fans were getting out of control with their contempt for a movie.
Before that, Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey in the new installments, deleted her social media accounts in 2016, facing criticism after she posted on gun control.
In an interview with Glamour, Ridley said, “I posted a thing about gun regulations, because I was at an event in tribute to the Orlando shooting at Pulse. People weren’t nice about how I looked. And I was like, ‘I’m out.’ Simple as that. That is not what I signed up for.”
As for Best, the actor and musician has been posting about possibly performing a one-man show timed to the anniversary of Phantom Menace — and it sounds like he is ready now.
“I’m gonna start writing this show,” he wrote on Twitter. “Gonna need help cause I’ve never done this before. I will be trying stuff out and posting it here. Let folks know. Thanks for all your support. It means so very much to me.”
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