The ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ actor insists all the “nuance” was given to white cast members such as Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver, as he admits he felt “angry” with the process.
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*** all. So what do you want me to say? What they want you to say is, ‘I enjoyed being a part of it. It was a great experience…’ Nah, nah, nah. I’ll take that deal when it’s a great experience. They gave all the nuance to Adam Driver, all the nuance to Daisy Ridley. Let’s be honest. Daisy knows this. Adam knows this. Everybody knows. I’m not exposing anything.
“I’m the only cast member who had their own unique experience of that franchise based on their race. Let’s just leave it like that. It makes you angry with a process like that. It makes you much more militant; it changes you. Because you realise, ‘I got given this opportunity but I’m in an industry that wasn’t even ready for me.’
“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.’ Nobody else had that experience. But yet people are surprised that I’m this way. That’s my frustration.”
John made a poignant and honest speech at a Black Lives Matter protest and was glad he didn’t have to speak through a “filter of professionalism and emotional intelligence” and could just “be mad”.
Speaking to the October issue of British GQ magazine, he added: “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. Sometimes you don’t have enough time to play the game. That just made me cry. Because you don’t get to see that.”