The actor behind the “Star Wars” character Jar Jar Binks recently opened up about his struggles with suicide.
Ahmed Best, who played the quirky Gungan character in the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy starting with 1999's "The Phantom Menace," said in a tweet this week that it’s been nearly 20 years since he first experienced backlash for his portrayal of Jar Jar and contemplated suicide.
“20 years next year I faced a media backlash that still affects my career today,” he recently tweeted. “This was the place I almost ended my life. It’s still hard to talk about. I survived and now this little guy (Best’s son) is my gift for survival.”
Insults toward Best and Jar Jar have waned over the years, allowing the actor to find levels of peace.
“Thank you all for your love and kindness. Its been overwhelming. I’m gonna start writing this show. 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,” he tweeted.
Best told Wired last year that he once suffered from media backlash and death threats because of his character, who is widely regarded as one of the least-liked “Star Wars” characters.
“I had death threats through the internet,” he told Wired. “I had people come to me and say, ‘You destroyed my childhood.’ That’s difficult for a 25-year-old to hear.”
Harassment of “Star Wars” characters hasn’t stopped, though. In fact, Kelly Marie Tran, who played Rose Tico in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” left Twitter and Instagram back in June after she experienced social media harassment, according to Variety.
Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey in the sequel “Star Wars” trilogy, similarly left social media in 2016 over harassment she suffered when she posted about gun control.
“Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson said in a tweet that most fans criticize the film with humor, love and respect.