The marginalization of black actors is nothing new in Hollywood. Recently, actor John Boyega expressed his concerns to the Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy in a call that he phrases as “Transparent, Honest”.
The actor explained, “So I got on a phone call with Kathleen Kennedy [Lucasfilm President] and she verbally showed support and we got to have a really nice, transparent, honest conversation that is beneficial to both of us.”
John Boyega revealed that Kathleen Kennedy called him after his GQ interview: “I got on a phone call with Kathleen Kennedy and she verbally showed support and we got to have a really nice, transparent, honest conversation that is beneficial to both of us.”
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According to Deadline, the actor further talked about his phone call, “I think these kinds of conversations, you can go into the realm of sounding like you’re just trying to save your own career, but what is great now is that it is a conversation that anyone has access to. Now people can express themselves about this knowing that any character we love, especially in these big franchises like the Marvels and Star Wars, we love them because of the moments that they are given, we love them because of those moments, and they’re heroic moments that these producers all decide for these characters so we need to see that in our characters that are maybe black and from other cultures.”
Boyega was also called a “Hero” by Kennedy for his impactful speech in the Black Lives Matter march in London.
A few months ago as well, Boyega expressed his level of frustration on the issue to GQ in an interview. He claimed that black characters were cornered in the sequels to The Force Awakens. Also stating that Disney gave “all the nuance” to Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley’s characters.
Earlier in September, he told GQ, “You get yourself involved in projects and you’re not necessarily going to like everything. [But] 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. It’s not good. I’ll say it straight up.”
Adding up he also said, “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 fuck all. So what do you want me to say? 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.”