John Boyega attacks Star Wars over its treatment of Black, Asian characters

John Boyega attacks Star Wars over its treatment of Black, Asian characters.
John Boyega as Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Photo credit: Lucasfilm

In what's being described as an "explosive interview", John Boyega has hit out at Disney over how people of colour are treated in Star Wars films.

The actor played Finn in the most recent trilogy and this year made headlines for a rousing speech at a Black Lives Matter protest in London.

Boyega didn't hold back in a lengthy feature with GQ magazine, saying his character's treatment was markedly different from his white co-stars.

"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," he said.

"Like, you guys knew what to do with Daisy Ridley, you knew what to do with Adam Driver. 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."

Boyega made further comments about the backlash he was subjected to from toxic elements of the Star Wars fanbase due to his race, 

"Nobody else in the cast had people saying they were going to boycott the movie because [they were in it]. Nobody else had the uproar and death threats sent to their Instagram DMs and social media, saying 'Black this and black that and you shouldn't be a Stormtrooper'."

Despite his frustrations, Boyega had good things to say about his colleagues on the Star Wars movies and insisted he was "very genuinely happy to be a part of of it".

It's rare for an actor to be this candid while speaking about their employers, but during his protest speech Boyega famously said: "I don't know if I'm going to have a career after this, but f**k that." 

He elaborated on that message with GQ.

"I feel like, especially as celebrities, we have to talk through this filter of professionalism and emotional intelligence. Sometimes you just need to be mad. You need to lay down what it is that’s on your mind."

The full written interview and a 23-minute video version are available on the GQ website.