The internet can be a beautiful place; it can encourage and empower otherized communities, foster creativity, and build relationships. But it also has a serious dark side — and Daisy Ridley has had enough. (For now.)
On Monday, Ridley shared an innocuous post on her social media accounts about how moved she was by the Teen Choice Awards’s emotional tribute to victims of gun violence, in which Alton Sterling’s son, victims from Orlando’s Pulse nightclub massacre, and family members from other gun-related tragedies took to the stage.
“[As] I sat in the audience yesterday tears were streaming down my face at the tribute to those that have been lost to gun violence,” Ridley wrote in a Facebook post, which has since been deleted. “I didn’t get a great picture of the incredible group that came on stage but they were so brave. It was a true moment of togetherness. We must #stoptheviolence.”
Following an onslaught of comments — some criticized her statement, even going as far as to call her out for the violence in Star Wars — Ridley deactivated her Instagram account. The Star Wars actor briefly reactivated her account on Wednesday to explain her sudden departure from the social media app: “I just want to be on my phone less! Trying to be more present and all that and got a busy few months ahead so wanted less distractions… It’s all good! 🙂 I always appreciate the support and love the Instagram community! X.”
Ridley’s Star Wars co-star John Boyega, who’s been inundated with fan requests to convince her to come back to the ‘Gram in the wake of all of this, supports her decision 100 percent, telling one fan, “Can’t do that. She make her own decisions and as a friend I support her right to.”
Honestly, this sucks. It’s not that Ridley shouldn’t have deactivated her Instagram — she can do whatever she wants! — but it’s the nature in which she left that’s troubling.
Since creating her Instagram account a year ago, it’s become an inspirational place for Ridley to speak out about important issues, from self-love to her painful struggles with endometriosis. It’s unfortunate that someone who’s so open and generous to others would be forced off Instagram by trolls — but sadly, it’s not uncommon. Just last month, Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones left Twitter for a few days after a slew of racist and sexist tweets were directed at her.
“I’m not stupid to not know racism exists,” she tweeted. “And I know it will probably live on way after me. But we have to make people take responsibility for the hate they sprew. We have to stand up to it… Stop letting the ignorant people be the loud ones.”
Sigh. Another day, another woman is forced to leave social media because of vile trolls and hateful commenters. It’s frankly exhausting. No wonder Ridley needed a break.