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John Boyega Calls Out Disney for Pushing Aside Characters of Color

The actor experienced extreme online racial abuse and bullying because of his lead role of Finn in the recent ‘Star Wars’ films and claims Disney should have done something about it.

His voice will be heard; John Boyega is speaking up about the racial abuse he faced following his portrayal of Finn in the Star Wars sequel films. While he may have been treated well on set, the actor endured tremendous criticism and virtual bullying due to his race. Boyega has since been vocal about the lack of Disney support during this time. He claims the online backlash was so severe, that he now has no plans of ever reprising his role, and is focusing more on broadening his acting repertoire. Speaking on parts he would be willing to take in the future, Boyega states, “At this moment, versatility is like the biggest thing for me right now. There are so many people I would really like to explore versatility [with], different roles and different characters. This is what I do. I enjoy what I do so to stay in one place could be sometimes hard."

Boyega also believes his and Kelly Marie Tran’s characters were given less screen time because of their respective races. In a recent interview with GQ, Boyega gave some advice to the media giant, stating, “What I would say to Disney is do not bring out a Black character, market them to be much more important in the franchise than they are and then have them pushed to the side. It's not good. I'll say it straight up. You knew what to do with these other people, but when it came to Kelly Marie Tran, when it came to John Boyega, you know, fuck all."

The actor is clearly not afraid to speak his mind and use his celebrity to stick up for the rights of actors who may not be granted such a voice. This fearlessness is crucial in the fight to make the film industry more diverse, integrated, and most importantly, safe for non-white artists. We are here to support him in his journey.

Check out Boyega as Leroy Logan in the new mini-series Small Axe on Prime Video.

Laurén Alexa's picture

Laurén Alexa produces social media and entertainment blurbage for AWN.