Filmmakers rally behind Star Wars' John Boyega after powerful anti-racism protest speech
George Floyd was killed in Minnesota, but the racial injustice represented by his death is relevant all over the world. As protests in the United States continue for a second week, support for the Black Lives Matter movement has been materializing around the globe as well. Star Wars actor John Boyega joined one such protest in London on Wednesday, giving fiery speeches through a megaphone outside the Parliament building.
“Black lives have always mattered," Boyega said to the crowd. "We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting.”
Boyega has already been outspoken about his anger over Floyd's death, tweeting "I really f—ing hate racists" last week after video emerged of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck shortly before the man's death.
At one point Boyega declared, "I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this but, f— that." After that remark was transcribed and tweeted, Us director Jordan Peele assured that "we got you, John." Several other filmmakers and writers — including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse producer Chris Miller — voiced their support for Boyega as well.
Later Wednesday, the Star Wars Twitter account issued a statement supporting Boyega, calling him "our hero," and linking to a video of his full speech. "Lucasfilm stands with John Boyega," the statement said, "and his message that, 'Now is the time. Black lives have always mattered. Black lives have always been important. Black lives have always meant something.' The evil that is racism must stop. We will commit to being part of the changes that is long overdue in the world."
Boyega's Star Wars castmate Mark Hamill also tweeted, "Never been more proud of you, John… [love], dad," while The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson tweeted of Boyega, "Love this man."
Boyega is not the only celebrity to have shown up to Black Lives Matter protests following Floyd's death. Tessa Thompson, Jamie Foxx, Ariana Grande, and others have also demonstrated their support in person.
This post has been updated.
To help combat systemic racism, please consider donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero, which is dedicated to ending police brutality in America through research-based strategies.
- Color of Change, which works to move decision makers in corporations and government to be more responsive to racial disparities.
- Equal Justice Initiative, which provides legal services to people who have been wrongly convicted, denied a fair trial, or abused in state jails and prisons.