John Boyega Accuses Disney Of Pushing Black ‘Star Wars’ Stars ‘To The Side’
John Boyega isn’t happy with the way Disney has handled the marketing of people of color in the Star Wars franchise and he let his feelings be known in a wide-ranging interview with British GQ on Wednesday. The actor said the company regularly capitalized on having people of color in their movies when it was time to advertise them but then pushed them to the periphery of the stories in the actual films.
“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.”
Boyega’s Stormtrooper-turned-resistance-fighter Finn had a central role in the first installment of the latest trilogy, The Force Awakens. According to The Hollywood Reporter, critics felt Boyega’s involvement in the next two projects, especially The Rise of Skywalker was greatly diminished.
Boyega pointed to what he felt was much more positive treatment of two of his co-stars, Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley, as evidence of the company putting white actors front and center and pushing people of color aside.
He said the Star Wars creators knew what to do with Ridley and Driver in the stories. The same couldn’t be said for himself and Kelly Marie Tran. He went on to say “they” gave “all the nuance” to Driver and Ridley. He added his two co-stars know this happened as well.
He then said that “everyone knows” this was the case. He said Disney’s dealings with the characters and the way the stories unfolded were nothing new and he wasn’t exposing anything.
Boyega also felt as though he was treated differently by the public when it came to his involvement in the Star Wars saga. He said none of his castmates had fans saying they were going to boycott because they were in the films.
He added he didn’t think anyone else had death threats sent to their Instagram accounts. He said that’s the main reason he’s so frustrated over the entire situation.
“Black this and black that and you shouldn’t be a Stormtrooper. Nobody else had that experience. But yet people are surprised that I’m this way.”
Boyega’s claims that he’s the only member of the cast who received death threats on social media appear to be inaccurate. As The Inquisitr reported last year, Tran briefly left social media after reportedly receiving several threats.
Boyega’s comments on the situation at the time were seen as insensitive and he later apologized.