A merchandise company has said they will bring Kelly Marie Tran‘s character – Rose Tico – back on their T-shirts following a controversy surrounding her exclusion.
On Triple Force Friday, fans were treated to a range of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker merchandise. However, fans were disappointed to notice that Rose Tico was missing from T-shirts showing the main cast.
Some designs had originally shown Rose on the shirts but upon release, the character from The Last Jedi was removed.
Fans expressed their outrage via social media with the hashtag #WheresRose trending on Twitter.
“The glaring lack of Rose Tico merch is really making it look like you caved to a bunch of racist misogynists,” tweeted one angry fan.
T-shirt company Absolute Cult reportedly said Disney were the ones behind the character’s removal. “[Absolute Cult] would never remove her – she wasn’t included on that design asset from Disney when we first designed the shirt. Will look at addressing this asap if there is an updated asset… our Rose tee from The Last Jedi was one of our best sellers!” The company replied to a fan who questioned them about her removal.
Absolute Cult has since uploaded another image with an updated shirt design that now features Rose with the caption “There’s Rose.”
Whilst some were proud to see an Asian face taking on a lead role in the Star Wars cannon when The Last Jedi was released, Tran was victimised on social media to the extent of her deleting her Instagram. One hate group even took credit for driving the Asian actress off social media.
Olivia Munn, Mark Hamill and John Cho all spoke out in defence for Tran, with Cho calling the incident “incredibly sad”.
Fortunately, Tran came out strong through the other side and discussed how she was “tricked into thinking that [her] body was not [her] own.”
Most recently, the Asian American actress has said she was excited for Rose and Finn’s relationship.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be released on 19 December 2019.
This one (took a screenshot): pic.twitter.com/A1ayp6QEYT
— Amber Goldsmith (@acagoldsmith) October 7, 2019
Just a heads up @starwars the glaring lack of Rose Tico merch is really making it look like you caved to a bunch of racist misogynists who already were or weren’t going to buy ur merch regardless of her presence. Sidelining your first woman of color? Really bad look. #wheresrose
— 🏳️🌈 Bisexual Disaster #WhereRose Ren (@jakkugerblin) September 25, 2019
im so tired <a
#wheresrose? There’s Rose ☺️ ➡️ https://t.co/Zqr9DYxCe5
— Absolute Cult (@AbsoluteCult) October 8, 2019
— caroline 🕊 (@bensapologist) October 3, 2019