Boyega revealed in a GQ interview on Wednesday, September 2, that he was the only cast member who had a unique experience in filming the three Star Wars movies because of his race, and that Disney could have done more with the character but didn’t.
“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,” he said in the interview.
He added that other characters played by diverse actors, like Kelly Marie Tran’s character, Rose Tico, were also sidelined in the films instead of being more prominent players.
“They gave all the nuance to Adam Driver, all the nuance to Daisy Ridley. Let’s be honest,” Boyega said in the interview.
Boyega added that while playing Finn was an amazing opportunity for him, it wasn’t the experience he expected it to be. He said that his experience of being a part of the franchise included death threats and people saying they would boycott the movie just because he was in it.
Disney faced backlash from some racist fans who criticized the inclusion of Finn, a Black character, as a protagonist in the sequel trilogy. Tran’s character was also criticized as part of the divisive reaction to The Last Jedi, and her character was all but ignored in the final Skywalker saga film, The Rise of Skywalker.
Both Boyega and Tran were harassed online by especially vindictive fans, driving Tran to abandon her social media accounts.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Boyega clarified that his interview was not about putting Disney in the hot seat, but to bring attention to the issues he experienced.
“These conversations and me sharing isn’t about a witch hunt. It’s about clarity to an anger that can be seen as selfish, disruptive and self indulgent. Obviously in hopes of better change,” Boyega tweeted.
Digital Trends reached out to Disney to comment on Boyega’s interview. We will update this story when we hear back.
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