The 38-year-old actress took to Instagram on Thursday to defend her Titans co-star after Diop was bombarded with hateful, racist comments in response to her portrayal of the Teen Titans comic book character, Starfire, in the upcoming TV series.
"I would like to take a moment to acknowledge how proud and excited I am to be working alongside @The_AnnaDiop. In my humble opinion, @DCUTitans, @theDCuniverse and all of their fans are lucky to have her talent, her grace and her beauty on board," Kelly, who plays Dove, wrote alongside a series of photos of Diop in character. "While the abhorrent racism in this country seems to be going nowhere anytime soon (#NiaWilson), the dignity, strength and couth my friend continues to exemplify in the face of it humbles and inspires me."
"That so many racist cowards would take the time to attack her Instagram so that she has to shut off comments after having already shut down her entire account once before over this bullshit makes me feel rage. Though I also feel a small relief knowing how strong and thick-skinned Anna is. I know she is and will be OK," she continued. "It takes zero courage to sit in your dark lonely room spewing your venom online while protected by your anonymous faceless accounts."
"I cannot begin to fathom the courage it requires everyday just to exist as a black woman in this country (#ChikesiaClemons) let alone to also have the audacity to fight for and follow your dreams. I bow to you, Anna. I can’t wait for everyone to see the brilliant work you’ve done," Kelly concluded. "Shine on, my love. You are a queen and all the people who matter know it. #IStandWithAnnaDiop 👑✨."
Diop replied to Kelly, writing, "I'm so grateful for women like you. Who stand with other women. Who give themselves and ask nothing in return. Who show up and stand up. You're the living definitely of a hero and I am so grateful to know you. THANK YOU... I LOVE YOU!!!"
Titans also stars Brenton Thwaites as Dick Grayson/Robin, Teagan Croft as Raven, Lindsey Gort as Detective Amy Rohrbach, Alan Ritchson as Hawk, Ryan Potter as Beast Boy, Dwain Murphy as Negative Man, Jake Michaels as Cliff Steel, April Bowlby as Elasti-Girl, Bruno Bichir as Dr. Niles Caulder, and Conor Leslie as Wonder Girl.
Watch a trailer for the series below.
Titans is set to premiere later this year on DC's upcoming digital streaming service.