British actor John Boyega, best known for his performance in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, protested in London in response to the death of African-American George Floyd.
Boyega said in his passionate speech, “Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting.”
Fighting back tears, he continued, “I’m speaking to you from my heart. Look, I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but fuck that. Today is about innocent people who were halfway through their process. We don’t know what George Floyd could have achieved, we don’t know what Sandra Bland could have achieved, but today we’re going to make sure that won’t be an alien thought to our young ones. Today is about innocent people who were halfway through their process. We don’t know what George Floyd could have achieved, we don’t know what Sandra Bland could have achieved, but today we’re going to make sure that won’t be an alien thought to our young ones.”
George Floyd died after a white policeman Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck even as he struggled to breathe. Following his death, the United States has been engulfed in protests that have often turned violent.
John Boyega’s passionate speech has found support from the Star Wars universe. Lucasfilm, the Disney-owned studio behind Star Wars, tweeted, “We stand with and support you, @JohnBoyega,” along with a link to Boyega’s full speech.
An accompanying statement from Star Wars read, “LUCASFILM STANDS WITH JOHN BOYEGA AND HIS MESSAGE THAT, “NOW IS THE TIME. BLACK LIVES HAVE ALWAYS MATTERED. BLACK LIVES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN IMPORTANT. BLACK LIVES HAVE ALWAYS MEANT SOMETHING. THE EVIL THAT IS RACISM MUST STOP. WE WILL COMMIT TO BEING PART OF THE CHANGE THAT IS LONG OVERDUE IN THE WORLD. JOHN BOYEGA, YOU ARE OUR HERO.”
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