The Walt Disney Co. is defending the host of its “Star Wars: The High Republic” show after she came under fire for making disparaging comments about white people, including accusing white women of “upholding white supremacy.”
Krystina Arielle, who is black, announced earlier this month that she will host the upcoming “Star Wars: The High Republic” YouTube series that will take fans into the world of “The High Republic,” the new fictional universe set 200 years before the Skywalker era.
Following the announcement, Arielle’s old tweets disparaging white people started to resurface, many of them unearthed by the site Bounding Into Comics. In one tweet that she has deleted, she accused white women of racism: “Just a reminder that white women are just as complicit in the upholding and enforcing of white supremacy.”
Her tweet was in response to a media report about then-White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s defense of the humorous term “kung flu.”
In another tweet, Arielle admonished all white men, saying they should not be allowed to debate racism. “White men: this is not the subject to try and speak authoritatively in my comments,” she tweeted.
Arielle’s comments generated a social media backlash, which prompted Disney to jump to her defense by portraying her as a victim of “bullying and racism.”
“Our Stars Wars community is one of hope and inclusivity. We do no stand for bullying and racism. We support @KrystinaArielle,” the multi-national corporation said on its official Star Wars Twitter account late Friday.
Our Star Wars community is one of hope and inclusivity. We do not stand for bullying and racism. We support @KrystinaArielle.
— Star Wars (@starwars) January 23, 2021
On Saturday, Krystina Arielle tweeted screenshots of some of the comments that she has allegedly received, saying that the last 24 hours have not been “the greatest.”
We the last 24 hours have been … not the greatest. pic.twitter.com/v0Sx8PNcIg
— Krystina Arielle (@KrystinaArielle) January 23, 2021
Disney’s claim that it cares about racism comes after it partnered with Xinjiang authorities in China for the shooting of the live-action movie Mulan. The regional Xinjiang government runs concentration camps for ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities where women are forcibly sterilized and inmates are subjected to torture.
The studio has so far refused to comment on its partnership with the regional Chinese government. The U.S. recently declared that China’s treatment of its Muslim minority Uyghur population amounts to genocide and crimes against humanity.