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Friday, November 27, 2020

John Boyega says Hollywood studios must protect actors from racial abuse

In an interview with Variety, John Boyega said studios should not shy away from the fight against toxic fandom.

By: PTI | Los Angeles | November 7, 2020 3:32:16 pm
John Boyega star wars, John Boyega, boyegaJohn Boyega in a still from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. (Photo: Lucasfilm/Disney)

Actor John Boyega believes it is the responsibility of Hollywood studios to come to the aid of their actors whenever they face racial abuse on social media. One of the most outspoken artistes in Hollywood, Boyega has himself faced online abuse when he was cast as Finn in the Star Wars franchise.

Over the years, the actor has defended his Star Wars peers like Daisy Ridley and Kelly Marie Tran, who were also trolled heavily on social media.

In an interview with Variety, the 28-year-old actor said studios should not shy away from the fight against toxic fandom.

“When one of your actors, especially an actor that’s so prominent in the story, is announced as part of your franchise and then it has a big racial backlash and receives abuse online and that starts to form a shadow on what is supposed to be an amazing gift,” Boyega said.

“It is important for the studios to definitely lend their voice, lend their support to that and to have a sense of solidarity not just in the public eye, but on the ground on set,” he added.

The actor previously spoke about the experience he and Kelly Marie Tran, who is of Asian descent, had while working on Disney’s Star Wars series.

Talking to GQ in September, Boyega had called out the studio for sidelining characters of colour.

“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,” he had said.

In the new interview, Boyega said it is his hope that new actors will get better treatment from the studio.

“Next time you cast someone in that position, you bring them through the process. They need that support. They can’t get Boyega-ed,” he added.

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