This year we celebrate 20 years of Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace. No matter what you thought of the film or the characters in the the film, Ahmed Best didn’t deserve the backlash he got for portarying Jar Jar Binks. Last year he took to Twitter to reflect on the upcoming anniversary. But that remembrance included how fans’ vitriolic backlash to his performance nearly drove him to kill himself.
“I was just alone and the depression hit me. Hard. I was just broken. The only think I could think of to make me feel better was to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. But this time when I walked across the bridge, I didn’t see the lights of Manhattan.
I didn’t see the towers [or] the potential of hard work and ingenuity. I didn’t see anything; I just saw a fog. I felt tired of having to explain myself. I felt tired of having to defend myself and defend my work. I felt tired of having to fight back against racism and the racial stereotypes. I just wanted to play a part.”
We’re thankful Ahmed managed to come out of the other side and we send him our love. We look forward to seeing Ahmed on his solo tour, and hopefully at Celebration in April.