Racism, Sexism, and Jar Jar Binks: With Ahmed Best (Part 1)
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Trigger Warning: Suicide
In July, my friend Ahmed Best revealed that in his darkest days he contemplated taking his own life. The pendulum of his career has been nothing short of extraordinary. He got his big break performing in the cast of Stomp The Musical which led to an offer to play a first-of-its-kind character in the Star Wars prequels. His character, Jar Jar Binks, would lead the way for the development of motion capture technology in film, but he would also become the punching bag for everything fans didn’t love about the movies. Ahmed was in the precarious position of being associated with a character who both was and wasn’t him. He took the hit, but not the accolades, until a generation of Star Wars fans had kids who LOVE Jar Jar. The part no one seems to address is how racism played a huge role in the blowback. After years of trying to pivot away from discussing the toll it took on him, Ahmed is now developing a one man show to dig in to the dark and the light. You can follow this evolution here. We had such a great talk that I’m bringing you two episodes with Ahmed!
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call 1-800-273-TALK.
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