John Boyega Criticizes Disney for Sidelining Non-White Actors

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In an interview with British GQ, John Boyega openly criticized Disney for the misuse of his character in the recent Star Wars franchise.

Boyega has been transparent in the past about his distaste for the depiction of his portrayal of Finn in the movies, and he’s revealed to GQ UK that Disney markets the diverse characters in a way that the movies don’t adhere to.

“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,” Boyega said.

In the films, Boyega’s Stormtrooper role originally started out as lead part in the franchise before quickly falling towards background character territory in the final two movies. Instead, Disney centered their focus around white characters such as Rey and Kylo Ren, played by Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver.

Boyega also called out Disney’s misuse of the other non-white actors involved such as Oscar Isaac, Kelly Marie Tran, and Naomi Ackie.

“Like, you guys knew what to do with Daisy Ridley, you knew what to do with Adam Driver,” Boyega said. “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**k all. So what do you want me to say?”

Boyega mentioned that the sidelining isn’t a new realization to the cast.

“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,” Boyega said. “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.”

Many Twitter users were quick to take the interview out of context, causing Boyega to address the negative feedback with a humorous tweet.

Fans of Boyega were quick to stand by the actor for being transparent in his interview about the experience.

One fan tweeted that Disney’s portrayal of Finn is a “good reason for us all to get mad.”

We are glad that Boyega is using his platform to call attention to racial injustice within the industry. To read Boyega’s full interview with British GQ, click here.