John Boyega as Finn in Star Wars.
John Boyega as Finn in Star Wars.

John Boyega slams Disney for sidelining his Star Wars character, not knowing what to do with non-white characters

Actor John Boyega has slammed Disney for sidelining his Star Wars character, implying that the decision was racially motivated.
Hindustan Times | By HT Entertainment Desk
PUBLISHED ON SEP 02, 2020 09:47 PM IST

Actor John Boyega has accused Disney of sidelining his character in the Star Wars films, for racial reasons. He said that while Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver’s (white) characters were written with nuance, Finn, his character, was ‘pushed to the side’. “I’m the only cast member whose experience of Star Wars was based on their race,” he said.

He told GQ that his father taught him: “‘Don’t overpay with respect.’ You can pay respect, but sometimes you’ll be overpaying and selling yourself short.” And so, the actor, who appeared in three Star Wars films produced by Disney, said that he wasn’t pleased about certain things.

“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,” he said. The actor added, “Like, you guys knew what to do with Daisy Ridley, you knew what to do with Adam Driver. 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 f— all. So what do you want me to say? What they want you to say is, ‘I enjoyed being a part of it. It was a great experience…’ Nah, nah, nah. I’ll take that deal when it’s a great experience. They gave all the nuance to Adam Driver, all the nuance to Daisy Ridley. Let’s be honest. Daisy knows this. Adam knows this. Everybody knows. I’m not exposing anything.”

 

Shortly after the interview’s publication, the actor wrote on Twitter, “These conversations and me sharing isn’t about a witch hunt. It’s about clarity to an anger that can be seen as selfish, disruptive and self indulgent. Obviously in hopes of better change.Bruh. In short. I said what I said. Love to you all seriously. Your support is amazing.”

The interview is being hailed for its bravery by fans on social media. “This interview with John Boyega by Jimi Famurewa is exhilarating. I can’t think of any famous actor who has so nakedly spoken truth to power like this. He knows what he’s risking in asserting his own black power, and does it anyway. He is so important,” one person wrote. “John Boyega absolutely not holding back we love to see it,” wrote another.

Also read: Star Wars actor John Boyega fears for career after speaking up for Black Lives Matter, Hollywood rises in support

Minutes after the interview went live, Disney announced the release date for the second season of the Star Wars show The Mandalorian, which several people saw as a diversion tactic. “And just like that, the John Boyega trending topic slips beneath The Mandalorian and googling Star Wars is a lot of Baby Yoda, Baby Yoda, Baby Yoda. Coincidence or not, they silenced him today,” one person wrote.

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