Ahmed Best may not be a name that's immediately recognised, but the character he played most definitely is - Jar-Jar Binks from the 'Star Wars' prequel trilogy.
The actor, who has a total of 67 credits on IMDb, admitted yesterday that on Twitter that the backlash surrounding 'The Phantom Menace' - which he was a main character in - drove him to the brink of suicide. Best, who was 25 when he signed on for the role, admitted in an interview with WIRED that he received death threats as well.
"I had people come to me and say, ‘You destroyed my childhood.’ That’s difficult for a 25-year-old to hear," said Best. However, his admission on Twitter was pretty heartbreaking.
Take a look.
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
After Best posted the tweet, 'The Last Jedi' director Rian Johnson commented, saying "Lots of love to you Ahmed. I think there are many of us who’d get quite alot from hearing your story." Frank Oz, who voiced and operated Yoda in 'The Empire Strikes Back' and 'Return Of The Jedi', offered support to Best. "I LOVED Jar Jar Binks. I know I’ll get raked over the coals for saying that but I just will never understand the harshness of people’s dislike of him."
Fan backlash and the like is nothing new, especially in 'Star Wars'. Just last month, Kelly-Marie Tran - who played Rose Tico in 'The Last Jedi' - deleted her Instagram following online abuse and trolling. If you're having trouble or need someone to talk to, please call The Samaritans on freephone 116 123 or text 087 2609090 on standard rates.