The trend of Hollywood stars using promotional events to espouse their political views and thus risk alienating potential viewers continues – and with what is supposed to be the biggest film of the year, the highly anticipated final chapter of the Star Wars’ Skywalker saga, first launched over 40 years ago by George Lucas.
In an interview with The Guardian published over the weekend, British actress Daisy Ridley, who plays the lead role of Rey in the J.J. Abrams-produced installments of the series, took the opportunity of the promotional interview to disparage supporters of President Trump.
Asked if he is “conscious of what issues she can talk about publicly,” particularly because Disney owns Star Wars, and whether she has to “modify” her politics, Ridley decided to fire off two politically charged shots, including one at Trump supporters, who she suggested are not “sane.”
“No. I don’t feel I have to edit what I say – the things that make me angry are the things that make everyone angry,” Ridley told The Guardian’s Nasheen Iqbal. “Everyone is annoyed with BoJo [British Prime Minister Boris Johnson]. Everyone has an issue with Trump – every sane person anyway.”
Though the actress – who describes herself in the interview as “not passively aggressive … just directly aggressive” – insisted that she doesn’t feel compelled to self-“edit,” Iqbal notes that Ridley immediately indicated that she knew she’d gotten herself into hot water.
“She smiles brightly at me, almost apologetic, reluctant to expand,” writes Iqbal.
“It’s not that I don’t talk about this stuff, but other people are so much more articulate than me and say it better,” Ridley added.
Ridley’s interview included another moment she probably wishes she could get back. Asked if her “privileged” upbringing made it easier for her to land her life-changing role as Rey, Ridley pushed back, and in so doing, angered the “intersectional” left.
“The privilege I have – how?” she said. No, genuinely, how?”
“Ridley was educated at the independent Tring School for the Performing Arts, having obtained a scholarship,” the Independent notes. “Her mother is a banker and her father is a photographer, while her family included the playwright Arnold Ridley and John Harry Dunn Ridley, OBE, who served as head of engineering at the BBC.”
“John grew up on a council estate in Peckham, and I think me and him are similar enough that … no,” Ridley said. “Also, I went to a boarding school for performing arts, which was different. I’m not saying what you’re saying is wrong. I’ve just never been asked that before, so I’m like, oh. I don’t think so.”
As The Daily Wire highlighted, Ridley’s rejection of the “privilege” argument resulted in blowback online from the Left:
“One of the most appalling things abt this daisy ridley interview is that in her 4yrs of headlining one of the biggest franchises on earth, this is, so painfully evidently, the very first time anyone has truly invited her to critically confront & examine her own privilege,” said one Twitter user.
“People are already making threads about how cancel culture is bad nobody’s trying to cancel daisy ridley we’re just saying she’s dumb to vehemently deny her privilege and compare her struggles to john boyegas,” said another user.
“Instead of hoping Daisy Ridley is cancelled, let’s hope this is a valuable lesson to her and other white people that white privilege is real and we need to accept that, understand the injustice of it, and work to change it,” lamented another.