I enjoy reading newspapers from all over and yesterday a Washington Post article about actor Ahmed Best caught my eye.
You’ll remember him most as the man who played Jar Jar Binks in the critically panned The Phantom Menace. What I didn’t know until reading this article was that the backlash he suffered after the film’s release nearly drove him to end his life.
He recently posted a picture of his son and himself on twitter. They were pictured on the bridge where he almost ended it all.
20 years next year I faced a media backlash that still affects my career today. 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. pic.twitter.com/NvVnImoJ7N
— Ahmed BEst (@ahmedbest) July 3, 2018
The Star Wars fan base is one of the largest you will ever find on this earth and their passion for the space opera is unparalleled. And apparently, that passion turned into brutal verbals attacks towards Best.
All for Passion
Now, I’m all for passionate fans, but I’ve always questioned what makes a fan think they have a right to personally attack an actor because they didn’t like a character in a film. What makes me sad, no not sad, what makes me angry is that this isn’t some small group of disgruntled fans; it was a large number of entitled brats.
Pulp Nation is all about passion for popular culture and we don’t like everything we read, watch, or play, and I have no problem critiquing things I don’t like but that doesn’t give me the right to personally attack anyone.
At the end of the day actors, directors, authors, artists, and any other creator don’t owe us anything. They practice their art because they love it.
Ahmed Best Never Deserved Such Vitriol
Jar Jar Binks, as played by Ahmed Best, is a character in a fantasy film. He didn’t kill anyone, he never did anything so evil as to deserve what happened to him.
I know—from experience—what it’s like to come close the edge. Thing is, I was never pushed there like Best was. I can’t imagine what he was going through.
So-called fans need to think about that before personally attacking someone for playing a character in a film.