John Boyega calls on studios to support stars who face racist backlash

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JOHN BOYEGA has called for film studios to support stars who face a racist backlash when they are cast in films.

Boyega, who played Finn in Disney’s Star Wars, has shared his thoughts on what those working behind the scenes need to do better in situations when black and other ethnic minority actors are subjected to racism from franchise fans.

In the interview for Variety and iHeart’s The Big Ticket podcast, the 28-year-old said: “When one of your actors, especially an actor that’s so prominent in the story, is announced as part of your franchise and then it has a big racial backlash and receives abuse online and that starts to form a shadow on what is supposed to be an amazing gift, it is important for the studios to definitely lend their voice, lend their support to that and to have a sense of solidarity not just in the public eye, but on the ground on set.”

It’s not the first time Boyega has been vocal about how black actors are often treated when they secure roles in blockbuster films.

Speaking to GQ in September, in his first major interview since he concluded his work on the franchise, Boyega opened up about the impact his race had on his experience of working on Star Wars.

He said: “You get yourself involved in projects and you’re not necessarily going to like everything. [But] 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.”

Variety reported that since his statements on how his character was sidelined, Boyega has been engaged in “honest conversations” with executives at Disney.


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