John Boyega: Star Wars actor rails against racism after George Floyd death


John Boyega

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Reuters

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Boyega appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker

Actor John Boyega has delivered an uncompromising message against racism after fielding praise and backlash for Twitter posts about the subject.

The Star Wars actor posted about his hatred of racists on Wednesday following the death of an unarmed black man in police custody in the US.

He added that “WHITE on BLACK racism” had “ruined the world”, which sparked responses about other forms of racism.

He later doubled down against “racist white people” in an Instagram live.

His initial anger was sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, who was shown in a video groaning “I can’t breathe” as a white policeman knelt on his neck.

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AFP

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George Floyd’s death has sparked protests in the US

Boyega tweeted his hatred of racists before replying to a Nigerian man who said he broke up with his girlfriend because she was racist against white people.

The actor replied: “I am talking about WHITE on BLACK racism. The kind that has ruined the world not caused a lil break up with your girlfriend.”

Replying to someone else who wrote that “racism can come from anyone”, he replied: “I don’t care. That’s not what I’m talking about.”

In the impassioned Instagram live, he then explained: “There’s no way that I have the opinion that there’s no other forms of racism. Of course there’s other forms of racism.

“But a black man was just murdered in cold blood in the street Stateside again, while saying he can’t breathe. That’s a continuous cycle going on. Although I don’t live in the States, I’m black.”

‘You lot can’t rattle me’

Boyega refused to back down, adding: “I said what I said.”

He continued: “It’s not about career, it’s not about money, because a lot of people like to bring that up… That’s got nothing to do with how you treat people. It’s a madness.

“So when I say it, I mean it, and you lot can’t rattle me. I’m not the guy to be rattled. I wasn’t raised by no weak people, you understand?”

He received widespread support, including from Glee actress Amber Riley, who called him “a king”; actress Yvette Nicole Brown, from US sitcom Community; and Maze Runner star Dylan O’Brien.

After Mr Floyd’s death, the four officers involved in the incident were fired, and there have been calls for them to face criminal charges.

The episode has also sparked clashes between police and protesters in Minneapolis.

Beside Boyega, celebrities including Beyonce, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Cardi B have paid tribute to the 46-year-old and called for justice.

Cardi B wrote on Instagram: “Enough is enough! What will it take? A civil war? A new president? Violent riots? It’s tired! I’m tired!”

Bieber posted: “This makes me absolutely sick. This makes me angry this man DIED. This makes me sad. Racism is evil We need to use our voice! Please people.”

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