John Boyega, Star Wars’ First Black Lead Actor, Fires Back At Racist Fans

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After the new Star Wars’ final trailer was released in October, a small fraction of Twitter users called for a boycott of the upcoming sequel, claiming it to be “anti-white propaganda”. The hashtag #BoycottStarWarsVII was started after trolls were angry over the casting of John Boyega, a Nigerian Brit, as a main lead.

But before the bigoted hashtag could flood Twitter, director Ava DuVernay created #CelebrateStarWarsVII in response, which led to a series of positive tweets, highlighting and praising the diversity of both the cast and the fan base.

Sensible Twitter users went a step ahead and used #BoycottStarWarsVII to call out the bigotry behind its initial creation and turn the negative hashtag into a positive celebration of diversity.


In a recent New York Times interview, Boyega responded to the hate in the most brutal way possible.

“I’m grounded in who I am, and I am a confident black man. A confident, Nigerian, black, chocolate man. I’m proud of my heritage, and no man can take that away from me. I wasn’t raised to fear people with a difference of opinion. They are merely victims of a disease in their mind. To get into a serious dialogue with people who judge a person based on the melanin in their skin? They’re stupid, and I’m not going to lose sleep over people. The presale tickets have gone through the roof — their agenda has failed. Miserably.”

When asked if he’s proud that he’s adding diversity to the Star Wars franchise, Boyega said:

“I don’t know whether I’m proud or anything. I’m happy that we’re able to mesh together in this ensemble cast and create a wonderful story. It’s Hollywood’s fault, for letting this get so far, that when a black person or a female, or someone from a different cultural group is cast in a movie, we have to have debates as to whether they’re placed there just to meet a [quota]. I also understand, on the flip side, where these other mentalities will arise. “He’s just placed there for political correctness”. I don’t hear you guys saying that when Brad Pitt is there. When Tom Cruise is there. Hell, when Shia LaBeouf is there, you guys ain’t saying that. That is just blatant racism.”

This is not the first time Boyega faced criticism for Star Wars. In November 2014, when the film’s first trailer was released, Boyega had responded in a dignified manner to a minority of “prejudiced” fans who had questioned the casting of a black actor as a stormtrooper in Star Wars. In an interview with V magazine, Boyega said:

“The negativity was unnecessary. I’m in the movie, what are you going to do about it? You either enjoy it or you don’t. I’m not saying get used to the future [diversity] … [it] is already happening. People of color and women are increasingly being shown on screen. For things to be whitewashed just doesn’t make sense.”

For the intellectually bankrupt people – Star Wars: The Force Awakens  smashed just about every box office record to tiny pieces, pulling down $248 million in its opening weekend.


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38 COMMENTS

  1. If Johns character had multi-toned blue skin, it wouldn’t matter. The man did a great job, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of this character. 🙂

  2. I think he did a great job, I just wish he and the X-wing pilot POE had their roles switched. It was always implied that the Empire had a nazi racial superiority BELIEF. The bad guys are supposed to be nazi’s. The snow troopers look like the freaking KKK in Empire Strikes Back. All of the Imperial Officers are white, and they kept aliens out of their ranks (in the movies anyway). While the Rebels were more tolerant (they had aliens and other races on their side), and essentially fighting for freedom for everyone in the galaxy. The Empire or First order is racist. You aren’t supposed to like them. Storm Troopers aren’t supposed to be black. In fact, by making a black guy a Storm Trooper, there’s just one more reason to think the Empire/First Order isn’t all that bad. “Hey, join the Empire, we’re an equal opportunity employer!” What are the real subliminal messages going on here? To conclude, I really wish his character had been the hot shot X-wing pilot.

    • Are you serious? The stormtroopers in SW:TFA are essentially slaves: raised from birth to fight, given no choices about their life, forcibly educated and reeducated if they don’t comply, unable to leave.

      If you think that racists would have a problem using forced labor to achieve their ends, you haven’t really paid any attention to how racists operate. This is a primary function of racist regimes, not a by product.

    • In Star Wars there is no concept of race, in all of the EU stuff, and the Movies there is not one specific mention to race. Yes there is speciesism but no racism, considering they are all humans, and they have other species to contend with, what’s the point? What your saying is made up straight out of your head. If you read the EU you will find imperials of all races, and even one or two females out there. In the old continuity the imperial remnant would begin to accept women, and other races are more visible as a result of their near-destruction by the Republic. It would seem logical to stop discriminating, so you can get more people to manipulate in your struggle for galactic manipulation!

    • in the original storm troopers make up race never made a difference and black people have no legitimate impurities so it would make no sense to say that race really mattered.Just cause we feel that race is such a big deal that if you help and work with black people you’re suddenly a good guy; nah dude race makes no difference what so ever and hitler /nazis did work with blacks and muslims not only that but blacks were willing to enlist because the farther war went the more the nazis realized that race skin color wise made no difference.

  3. You knew this was coming. I have something big to offer. Your freedom. Some maybe always thought this day would come. It has come… You have the power. You have the energy. We all have the power! He had a virgin birth. Jesus did die… Knowledge was lost.. He was gone.. He resurrected in symbolism with only one thing to conquer was the fear itself. He was gone and he came back second time. Jesus is your mind, it’s your thoughts, it’s your morals of right and wrong. We are the God. We are Jesus. It was always in us. It was the knowledge that was lost and put away. It is the knowledge we learn and share that will live on forever. Our souls hurt when we hurt one another, it hurts more than getting hurt. Our souls are our thoughts of how good we are, when we knowingly do what we do. It’s humanity to be good to others and “antichrist” to hurt others. It’s humanity to care for others. That we had lost for a long time. Hidden in plain sight but waiting for someone to let their mind open and stop being afraid. Now you know, soon we all know. Share what you know. Don’t be afraid. Open your mind, you know it’s true. Please take care of one another, give food to those who need, stop fighting because that is what hurts your inner-self. Do good and good comes to you. And stop categorizing people, WE ARE PEOPLE, HUMANS. We are not money, not greed, not power, not social status, not gender or etnicity. Every man from black, white, red, brown, men, women, old and young, gay or straight, what ever you are as the person inside. Care for the environment, it is our home. And animals and organisms that we share. And nations and countries? We don’t need nations. ‘Nation’ is only the limit in our mind like everything else has been. It has been released. We want a world that is love, peace, understanding, getting along with each other. There is 5 senses of how we see and feel our world and 7 steps of information of our mind that was another secret hidden but always visible. We need to start educating ourselves for REALITY. Remember don’t fight, help one another. Lower your weapons and listen to one another. Peace, love and unity! Today the world will change. You know also, all religions makes us human. Don’t judge by religious background either but understand each other and share what you know and your humanity. ‪#‎human‬ ‪#‎power‬ ‪#‎thoughts‬ ‪#‎morals‬ ‪#‎fear‬ ‪#‎change‬ ‪#‎eternal‬

  4. 5 steps of senses, sight, touch, taste, hear, smell and 7 steps of knowledge: Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, Astronomy. Illuminati pyramid steps, 13th step we were in was the anti-christ = our fear, the evil in us. Stop being afraid and help people.

  5. One more thing to add. Don’t let your emotions control you. hate hurts you. Let those rich people have a way out. Don’t riot. Let’s have an easy transformation based on love and understanding. Money is not real. We don’t need money. We need water, food and air for our body and empathy and information for our mind.

  6. Also we will share all resources in this planet. We will be one global human race. We will share what one needs. Based on scientific reasons and spread equally. And remember not to hurt people. It hurts YOU when you hurt others. You always knew it did.

  7. I don’t get the racist part. The “bad” guy is white, dressed in black and the “good” guy is black, dressed in white…
    Confusing. Who am I supposed to be disgusted with again? I’m confused.

    • That is a terrible analogy,first of all a stormtrooper never had to be white, race was never really a consideration in Star Wars. Many Asian characters to this day are still portrayed by whites. We never bat a eye when we have a white person cast into a person of color’s role, but vice-versa we all get pissed off. This country’s demographics are changing rapidly, and your white supremacist views are far too outdated for 2015.

    • Black people have had tough time in this country, why should someone who fought for the civil rights of BLACK people, be played by a white person.

    • Jack, I’ll speak slowly…MLK was a real person. He was NOT a fictional character. Star wars isn’t real, and 99% of the time, we never saw the faces of the storm troopers. Star Wars has various species within the GALAXY. You accept a lobster-like species as a commander but take issue with a black man as a storm trooper. Earthlings, in reality,come in all colors, sexual orientations, ethnicities, races, nationalities, and religions, regardless of how much you wish that weren’t true. Did you see the movie? John Boyega, and Harrison Ford, as well as Daisey Ridley were all brillant!

    • Jack,
      They probably felt the same way when they saw a movie called the Mexican starring Brad Pitt or the Last Samurai starring Tom Cruise…NOTHING. They sat down and watched the movie because only bigots feel the race of the actor somehow detracts from the story itself. Resorting to racist ideals to justify depriving someone of an opportunity is sad and speaks I’ll of your upbringing.

  8. correct me if i’m wrong, but weren’t the stormtroopers in the original trilogy (4-6) what remained of the clones from the prequels? In that case all clones off Jango Fett?

    • okay i just googled that( im a star wars newb), the clones accelerated aging meant that their skills deteriorated and they were replaced by conscripts and volunteers( kinda sad to think that all but a few died)

      • yea i’m sure they survived to a point then they just had to be replaced. i think some of the clone troopers did live because they didn’t have augments.

  9. JJ Abrams cast him because JJ felt the cast was not “diverse” enough in the Jeff Garlin podcast, talking about the TV show “Undercovers”.

    Jesse Plemmons was earmarked for the role before Boyega

  10. eh… as a huge star wars fan, i could give a flying f what the race about the race of the characters. i really liked the casting. the average writing, and ripoff, reboot storyline? now this is the disgrace. all that money and you can’t hire talented writers to grind out an epic story with smart dialog? it also surprises me how forgiving reviewers and fans alike have been regarding adults talking like children, and a remix of very old ideas in SW The Force Awakens. why reward mediocrity?

  11. John Boyega is not handsome, has zero charisma, and can’t act. Imagine Will Smith in that role. Smith is probably too old but then again Carrie Fisher is ancient.

    • I agree with jayredd. No matter what race, John Boyega is not handsome, has zero charisma and can’t act. I didn’t like that actor’s performance

  12. John Boyega is gorgeous, very charismatic and an excellent actor. Move over Billy Dee, Boyega is in the house and on my T Shirt.

  13. @jayredd, you say John Boyega is not handsome??!! You must have your eyes glued or you are the ugliest mofo alive to want to judge others. Moreover, his acting is exceptional and that what really matters and not how light-skinned or tall he is.

  14. The way I look at it is, who cares what nationality, race or colour the lead actor is. The only important factors are…they can do the job and have enough knowledge of the story to portay any role convincingly. There is no room in this work for racism, it’s so last century!

  15. Can we all just remember that Samuel L. Jackson was a kickass jedi in episodes 1-3? He’s probably the only reason I ever watched the prequels. John Boyega is wonderful in his role as a morally conflicted stormtrooper, I could feel the conflict of his character throughout the movie. I don’t care what color Boyega is. All I care about is that he maintains the the same excellent performance throughout the rest of the movies.

  16. It is so sad here in 2015 coming into 2016 that there is still so much ignorance and hatred in people’s ( white) hearts and minds. No one on this planet is superior to anyone else.just think how much better this Society the world would be without that stupidity and nonsense. Racism is that of a weak mind insecure person.

  17. I honestly felt the actor was too over dramatic myself. I liked him but sometimes it would annoy me because his lines were either cheesy or too over acted.

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