John Boyega Talks Racism in Hollywood and Conditions for Return to Popular ‘Star Wars’ Franchise

John Boyega is a British-Nigerian actor and producer whose talent scored him a Golden Globe this past year. You might have seen the talented actor on the screen as Finn in Star Wars or Leroy Logan in Small Axe. Boyega isn't only focused on acting, though. He is also an outspoken activist dedicated to making a change by speaking out about the systematic racism in Hollywood.
Tinseltown / Shutterstock

John Boyega is a British-Nigerian actor and producer whose talent scored him a Golden Globe this past year. You might have seen the talented actor on the screen as Finn in Star Wars or Leroy Logan in Small Axe. Boyega isn’t only focused on acting, though. He is also a vocal activist dedicated to making a change by speaking out about the systematic racism in Hollywood. 

John Boyega first rose to the acting scene through his role as Moses in Attack The Block, a 2011 sci-fi comedy. Since then, the actor has stepped into the spotlight to play prominent roles, one of them being Finn in Star Wars. Boyega spoke out about the issues he experienced as the only Black person in the cast.

According to an interview with GQ, Boyega stated, “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 stated to NPR that professionals, and even strangers he passed by, noticed the unfair treatment during his time filming Star Wars. Still, the actor would be open to returning to the franchise under certain circumstances. In a 2020 interview that has recently resurfaced on Twitter, Boyega stated, “I am open to the conversation as long as it is Kathleen, J.J., and maybe someone else and the team, it’s a no-brainer.”

In 2019, the 29-year-old actor and producer took on a role just as impactful for his career as Star Wars. In the television series Small Axe, Boyega plays Leroy Logan, a Black man who joins the police force intending to change it for the better. Boyega’s role in the series won him a Golden Globe in the category “Best Supporting Actor” for his role in Small Axe.

Boyega continues to speak out about racism. He notably spoke at the 2020 Justice for Black Lives rally in London. At the rally, Boyega told the crowd, “This is very vital. Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless.” 

If you want to support Boyega and his successful acting career, you can watch his most recent role in Small Axe on Amazon Prime Video.