Actor John Boyega, who was almost completely unknown in Hollywood before being cast as Finn (AKA stormtrooper FN-2187) in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, skyrocketed to popularity after appearing in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, and Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker.
Now, Boyega has used his platform to spread awareness about social issues by joining the Matter protests taking place in London. Sparked by the incident of George Floyd being killed by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the majority of the demonstrations have been centered in the United States.
During today’s gathering protesting Mr. in , Boyega used a megaphone to give an emotional speech to the assembled crowd.
He stated, “We are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd. We are a physical representation of our support for Sandra Bland [died in Texas in 2015]. We are a physical representation of our support for Trayvon Martin [died in Florida in 2012]. We are a physical representation of our support for Stephen Lawrence [died in London area in 1993].”
Boyega continued, telling the protest rally, “I’m speaking to you from my heart. Look, I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this…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, but today we’re going to make sure that won’t be an alien thought to our young ones.”
Twitter user and London-based CBS reporter Haley Ott (@haleyjoelleott) shared a video of John Boyega’s protest speech about Floyd.
“Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting,” @johnboyega just told #BlackLivesMatter protesters in London’s Hyde Park pic.twitter.com/P49cbwIp6P
— Haley Ott (@haleyjoelleott) June 3, 2020
Boyega joins the Walt Disney Company in expressing his views during these trying times for race relations. On May 31, Disney issued a social media post that read:
“We stand against racism.
We stand for inclusion.
We stand with our fellow Black employees, storytellers, creators and the entire Black community.
We must unite and speak out.”
The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of Walt Disney Animation Studios, 20th Century Studios, Lucasfilm/Star Wars, Disney+, and Pixar, all of whom also shared the caption.
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