John Boyega has called out Disney saying non-white characters are "pushed to the side" in the Star Wars franchise, saying "all the nuance" was given to white co-stars and his character was marketed as being "much more important" than he actually was.
In an interview with British GQ John Boyega has called out Disney for their treatment of non-white actors in the Star Wars films, saying that his role as stormtrooper Finn faded into the periphery as the films continued, and that other non-white actors in the cast - Naomi Ackie, Kelly Marie Tran and Oscaar Isaac - were treated similarly.
"What I would say to Disney is do not bring out a black character, market them to be much more important in the franchise than they are and then have them pushed to the side," Boyega explained. "It’s not good. I’ll say it straight up."
Boyega states that while some people will claim that he is "crazy" or "making it up" the hierarchy of the cast in the final film in the franchise, The Last Jedi, was particularly hard to take, with co-stars Naomi Ackie, Kelly Marie Tran and Oscar Isaac, whom he describes as "a brother from Guatemala," suffering the same treatment.
"Like, you guys knew what to do with Daisy Ridley," Boyega says. "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*ck all."
"So what do you want me to say?" he continued. "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," Boyega said of the Star Wars films. "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.'"
Cosmopolitan has reached out to Disney for comment.
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