‘Star Wars’ Star John Boyega Clears Up Controversial Comments About Diversity

Star Wars: The Force Awakens had a huge night at the Empire Film Awards, but there was one moment during the ceremony that caused a stir. It happened when Star Wars star John Boyega, who plays rogue stormtrooper Finn, made a comment during his passionate speech. At the time, Boyega said, “Black people! Stop complaining! Be the change you want to be!” when he accepted his Best Newcomer award.

Coming from a Black actor, who’s the first Black lead in the Star Wars franchise, and in turn gave huge visibility for his community in a way that bridged all races, this seems like a huge deal, at least to the whistle blowers on Twitter.

Those on Twitter saw the following video clip and immediately reacted. One user in particular got Boyega’s attention, which made him clear up his controversial comments from the night

At the time, Boyega tweeted back in response to the disappointed Twitter user:

“People are working and having intelligent dialogue that moves us forward. Complainers whine and do nothing. Two different things. Overwhelming emotion and passion. Peace X”

The Star Wars: The Force Awakens star then sent a separate tweet to all of his followers:

“Regarding my comments at the screen nation awards (just to clarify) I am not saying that complaints are invalid or should not be heard. I am saying that words without action can’t help right now. I agree that we need to be heard but some do the talking and no work. But I do agree! I didn’t clarify. I was full of emotion receiving the award and just wanted to say that there was work to be done.”

Boyega continued as follows.

“I’m not in this position without the people that champion me. I was in Peckham struggling not too long ago. I’m not above anyone X love. Really feel bad for not clarifying and quite fearful that I’ve mislead many. Not about respectability tactics. I’m really sorry.”

This isn’t the first time John Boyega discussed race relations. From the first teaser trailer fans received, there was initial concern over Boyega’s race and what that meant for the franchise. Boyega, who went on to charm and delight fans in the film and during the press tour, spoke out immediately, and was applauded for his comments about inclusion and Hollywood’s habit of whitewashing everything.

In an interview with V magazine, the star said he didn’t particularly care if anyone had a problem about his role in the Star Wars franchise.

“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, but what is already happening. People of color and women are increasingly being shown on-screen. For things to be whitewashed just doesn’t make sense.”

What do you think about John Boyega’s controversial speech, and his apology that followed?

[Photo by Disney]