For celebrities, the question of whether or not to speak out on social issues can be a tricky one.
For some fans, anyone who doesn’t address it is en route to quickly becoming cancelled. For others, they would rather see the rich and famous stay silent and retreat to their mansions, having lost the ability to empathize with regular society long ago.
However, British actor John Boyega voiced his support for Black Lives Matter in a major way that was boldly, nakedly, defiant. On June 3, in the midst of a Black Lives Matter protest in London’s Hyde Park, Boyega struck a powerful presence. In honest, frank, candor he spoke on his personal crusade against racism and police brutality while inspiring others to do the same.
As Boyega addressed the crowd, the 28-year-old encouraged his fellow protesters to remain dedicated to the cause. He said,
“We don’t leave here and stop, you know, we don’t leave here and stop. This is longevity. Some of you are artists, some of you are bankers, some of you are lawyers, some of you own shops/stores. You are important. Your individual power, your individual right, is very, very important. We can all join together to make this a better world.”
John Boyega today. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/sCyLCcumq6
— Steevie (@StephanieYeboah) June 3, 2020
The Star Wars actor made it clear that the movement was a bigger, more important cause that superseded that of his film career. Boyega stressed that the demonstrators were a “physical representation” of George Floyd, and all of the innocent black men and women who died at the hands of the police. Their memory would live on in the activists’ commitment to making things right. He told the crowd,
“Look, I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but f**k 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…. today is the day that we remind [our children] that we are dedicated and this is a lifelong dedication.”
— Angelo (@shuutwo) June 9, 2020
Boyega has always been fairly outspoken, but the recent events have seemed to further embolden his resolve towards being as public and opinionated about Black Lives Matters as much as possible. Some Star Wars fans have criticized him for his frank nature in comparison to his more press-friendly castmates. And his blunt comments also likely conflict with the industry’s expected “role” for him, which was likely to be seen and not heard.
However, Boyega has risen above that to display a wholehearted devotion to the cause that is simply in line with how so many around the world are feeling right now, and he doesn’t apologize for it. His candid comments on racism have earned him a whole new level of respect from the public. And it’s all deserved.
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Ashley is a Blerd and pop culture glutton with a penchant for video games. She is a freelance writer, whose articles have appeared in Black Girl Nerds and Screen Rant. Life is happiest for her when she’s able to indulge in her childhood hobby, by putting pen to page.