“I Don’t Know If I’m Going To Have A Career After This”: John Boyega Joins BLM Protests
"I need you to understand how painful this shit is. I need you to understand how painful it is to be reminded every day that your race means nothing."
John Boyega, one of the breakout heroes of Disney’s new Star Wars trilogy, has joined protesters in London and pledged his solidarity to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Boyega, who played Stormtrooper-turned-resistance fighter Finn in three of the recent sci-fi epics, has been vocal in his support of social causes over the last few weeks. On May 27, the actor took to Twitter to reaffirm that he “fucking hate[s] racists”.
When that statement got some blowback, because Twitter is a cesspit where arguing against the concept of racism can get you blowback, Boyega took to the critics on one by one, reasserting his values.
I really fucking hate racists.
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) May 27, 2020
Now, however, Boyega has taken that activism off the digital sphere and into the real-world.
“Black lives have always mattered,” Boyega told the crowd, armed with a megaphone. “We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting.
“We are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd. We are a physical representation of our support for Sandra Bland. We are a physical representation of our support for Trayvon Martin. We are a physical representation of our support for Stephen Lawrence.”
“Look I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this but, f**k that.”
John Boyega. pic.twitter.com/KPFDUUFGlM
— The Nikki Diaries (@thenikkidiaries) June 3, 2020
Such statements are more bold and direct than the cowardly messages of vague support celebrities usually offer. And Boyega acknowledged that. “I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but fuck that,” he said, his voice cracking from emotion.
“I need you to understand how painful this shit is. I need you to understand how painful it is to be reminded every day that your race means nothing.”
Watch the speech in full here:
Since footage of the speech hit Twitter and YouTube, Boyega has received an outpouring of support from fans and his fellow Star Wars cast.
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) June 3, 2020
John Boyega now and forever pic.twitter.com/UsSYtmyudc
— Jacob Oller (@JacobOller) June 3, 2020
I would crawl through a barrel of broken glass to have John Boyega even so much as *glance* at one of my scripts. https://t.co/0bcLeldaEg
— Charlie Brooker (@charltonbrooker) June 3, 2020
We as a community BETTER make sure John Boyega has a career after this https://t.co/44M6htC2az
— Zeno Robinson: A BLACK LIFE (@childishgamzeno) June 3, 2020
At the end of the day, we need more celebrities like John Boyega, using their fame to draw attention to the issues that matter. Hopefully, in the coming days, more follow in his example.