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Actor Ahmed Best has revealed that he contemplated suicide after receiving severe criticism for his character, Jar Jar Binks, in Star Wars franchise. The 44-year-old actor had voiced the character in George Lucas’ prequel series — The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. However, upon its debut, Jar Jar Binks was ridiculed by fans and today it is considered one of the most hated characters in the history of the franchise.
In a moving post on Twitter, Ahmed shared a photo of him and his son looking out at a stretch of water and wrote that he faced resentment 20 years ago which “still affects my career today”.
“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,” Ahmed said.
Though, he did not reveal the name of the film for which he received criticism, The Phantom Menace was released 20 years ago in 1999 and was the first major role for him. Last year, in an interview with Wired magazine, Ahmed had revealed that he had received death threats for playing the character.
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
“I had death threats through the internet. I had people come to me and say, ‘You destroyed my childhood’. That’s difficult for a 25-year-old to hear,” Ahmed had said.
On Twitter, the actor-musician found support from director Rian Johnson, who directed the latest instalment of the franchise, The Last Jedi.
“Lots of love to you Ahmed. I think there are many of us who’d get quite a lot from hearing your story,” Johnson tweeted.