Actor John Boyega has been in some of Disney’s biggest Star Wars movies, but he’s putting that all on the line, according to an impassioned speech that the British Black actor delivered at an uprising this weekend that went viral. Though some fans lashed back at the actor’s comments, the impassioned young man has doubled down during a time like this – and Oscar award winner Jordan Peele has his back.
Peele came to prominence from his years on sketch TV show MadTV, eventually pivoting to his own show and finally becoming a writer, director and producer. His film Get Out went on to achieve great acclaim, as well as follow up Us. So if Peele tells Boyega “we got you,” then one can assume Boyega’s impassioned activism will continue, with future support achieved and locked in.
John Adedayo Bamidele Adegboyega, better known as John Boyega is a British actor and producer. Boyega rose to mainstream appeal through British film Attack the Block, a 2011 British sci-fi comedy horror film. From there, he’s continued to work with recently closing out his role as Finn in the latest Star Wars movies from Disney.
In 2016, Boyega formed his own production company, Upperroom Entertainment Limited. His company co-produced Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018), the sequel to the 2013 movie Pacific Rim, alongside Legendary Entertainment. The actor of Nigerian descent has been vocal about the inequalities also present in the United Kingdom and has taken his activism worldwide with his latest viral event.
Boyega delivered a rousing call to action in London, telling the dialed in crowd that he knew his simple presence at the event was a threat to his own future. “I’m speaking to you from my heart. Look, I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but f- that,” the actor ardently declared. Unfazed however, he continued – both off-line and online, with his full throated opinions on what had been happening to Black people in America and around the world. Boyega declared fans who are rac-st to unfollow him.
Overall his speech at the peaceful demonstration in Hyde Park received positive feedback from the crowd. During the gathering Boyega told demonstrators that the ‘very vital’ demonstration is “the physical representation of our support for George.”
At one point in his speech, Boyega teared up telling the audience “I need you guys to understand how painful this sh-t is. To be reminded every day that your [color] means nothing. And that isn’t the case anymore. That is never the case anymore.”
Boyega told the crowd ““It is very very important that we keep control of this movement, and that we make this as peaceful… and as organized as possible… Because you know what, guys? They want us to mess up. They want us to be disorganized. But not today. Not today.”
After Boyega’s speech at the demonstration went viral, major Hollywood directors like Jordan Peele, Edgar Wright and Guillermo de Toro showed support for the 28-year-old actor. Jordan Peele sent Boyega a reassuring tweet letting him know “we got you, John. The tweet was later retweeted by Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro, director of ‘The Shape of Water,” which garnered 13 academy award nomination, and four academy awards for Best Production Design, Best Original Score, Best Director and Best Picture at the 2018 Academy Awards.
Edgar Wright also chimed in letting Boyega know he has his back stated, “ Have before and would again, in a heartbeat. So proud of John today.”
Matthew A. Cherry took his support to another level urging non-black creators to work with Boyega: “I would work with John Boyega and I urge other non-Black creators to affirm that they have his back as well.”
We got you, John. https://t.co/oX7Rr52omx— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) June 3, 2020
Days after the demonstration, Boyega returned to social media to thank everyone for their love and support. “I want to thank you all for the love and support you have shared over the last few days, although nothing I have done is for praise, or is truly even enough, in the grand scheme of things. This is an intense time for our community, and the most important thing is for us to maintain momentum and not lose sight of how critical it is to pursue long term solutions and commitments, for the sake of our generation, and the next,” Boyega shared on his Instagram account.
“I believe any great movement starts with a renewal of the mind. I know you’re all thinking, what’s next? Where do we go from here? Because I’m thinking the same shit! Conversations about black businesses, ownership and support are happening, and I will continue to have these conversations with the full intention of birthing ideas that are sustainable and tangible,” Boyega continued.
“Let’s increase our knowledge! I’m excited to see an awakening happening in all of us! I’ll continue to use my platform to fight against the injustices and inequalities in our community, no matter what. Nonetheless, one man can’t do it alone – I need you, and we need each other!”