John Boyega gave an incredible speech in London, got so much support from his industry


You’ve probably already seen John Boyega’s amazing speech at a Black Lives Matter protest in London earlier this week. He was passionate, he was crying, he did it in spite of the fact that he could have been jeopardizing his own career. Last week, John got backlash online for tweeting, simply “I really f’ing hate racists,” as if that was at all controversial. He responded to those a-holes and he didn’t back down. During his speech in London, John mentioned that he didn’t know if he would have a career after speaking out. Here’s part of what he said. You can see the video above and rev.com has the full transcript where I’m getting these quotes. He makes me cry so hard every time I watch it.

Black lives have always mattered, we have always been important, we have always met suffering, we have always succeeded, regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting. I have been born in this country. I’m 28-years-old. Born and raised in London. And for a time, every black person understands and realizes the first time you were reminded that you were black. You remember. Every black person in here remembered when another person reminded you that you were black.

I need you to understand how painful it is. To be reminded every day that your race means nothing. And that isn’t the case anymore. There is never a case anymore. We are going to try it today. We are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd. We are a physical representation in our support for Sandra Bland. We are a physical representation on our support for Trayvon Martin. We are a physical representation of our support for Stephen Lawrence, for Mark Duggan.

It is very important that we keep control to this moment and we make this as peaceful as possible. We make this as peaceful and as organized as possible. Because they want us to mess up. They want us to be disorganized, but not today.

Look, I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this.

We don’t know what George Floyd could have achieved. We don’t know what Sandra Bland could have achieved… I’m sure you all came today, you left your kids, and when you see your kids, they’re aimlessly playing. They don’t understand what’s going on. Today’s the day that we remind them that we are dedicated, and this is a lifelong dedication.

[From Rev.com]

As we have seen from the way Kelly Marie Tran was harassed relentlessly by racist sexist Star Wars fans and then edited out of subsequent movies, losing his career is a legitimate concern. John needn’t have worried because so many screenwriters, producers, companies and actors tweeted support for him after that, including Jordan Peele, Lucasfilm, Lin Manuel-Miranda, and Matthew Cherry. Many of them said they would love for him to look at their scripts, so he’ll probably get a lot more sent to him now.

As a sidenote, I watched John’s first film, 2011′s Attack The Block, just a few months ago. I love Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz and it has some of the same producers. I actually paid for it because it’s not streaming anywhere. I don’t know if it’s a great movie to watch at this time given everything that’s happening, but it was funny and entertaining.

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27 Responses to “John Boyega gave an incredible speech in London, got so much support from his industry”

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  1. Yamayo says:

    I love how unapologetic he is, in person and on social media.
    I guess when faced with blunt and uncensored honesty, some people will be uncomfortable….

    He’s received a lot of support, thankfully.
    I hope he continues to speak up.
    We need passionate and articulate public figures.

  2. Léna says:

    Star wars has balls to support him now and not when he was receiving racists comments and threats years ago

    (Great speech!)

    • Roserose says:

      I know! I hope they get called out hard for this. We remember.

    • lucy2 says:

      Yes. They’ve acted just like I expect a big corporation to – downplay, downplay, pander to the “widest” audience, and then only when it feels safe and/or beneficial, performatively stand up for something that has gained traction and support.

    • Case says:

      The Star Wars fandom is…the worst. They also bullied Jake Lloyd as a child into retiring from acting altogether, and have been vicious toward Ahmed Best, who played Jar Jar. I don’t think the studio sticking up for them would make much of a difference, but they should nonetheless.

    • Test Testing says:

      do we not have thumbs up button cuz ALL OF THIS!

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      Lucasfilm wouldn’t permit Rey and Finn to be an item. Rey had to have a racially acceptable love interest – and he may have been a genocidal sociopath, but at he was white.

      So Lucasfilm can kiss my @ss.

  3. Tx_mom says:

    I appreciate him and am having a little retrospective chuckle at all the snowflakes who were so incensed that a storm trooper could be BLACK. Now I see that they had some special self-preservation instinct — Boyega truly IS a threat to their sad status quo!

    • Mia4s says:

      “ Boyega truly IS a threat to their sad status quo!”

      Sadly in Star Wars that didn’t turn out to be the case at all. To be clear that’s on the directors/writers/producers, not John. I didn’t like the sequel trilogy for many reasons, mostly because it was largely a waste. Finn’s story was part of that. Sure Finn was front and center in the first one wielding a lightsaber. But that was all a red herring as for the next two he was treated as the also-there sidekick. The “fans” who went after him as the first Black stormtrooper and lead, now just mock him for running around screaming “REY!” all the time and not being all that important to the story. It’s really depressing to be honest.

      When he finally went after the fans who had attacked him and started commenting on the movies in general people were enjoying and celebrating it, which…fine, but it just made me sad because he was so enthusiastic at the start and was clearly so let down by the experience.

      • lucy2 says:

        He was my favorite part of the first current series. I haven’t seen the 3rd yet, but agree he got sidelined in the 2nd. The whole thing had to be such a high and low experience for him. I hope all these offers are genuine and he has great opportunities ahead. His bravery to stand up for himself and others here is inspiring.

      • Case says:

        Hmm. I’ve seen this take a lot and I kinda disagree. I believe Rey was always meant to be the “Luke” of this series, with Finn and Poe serving as Han and Leia. I wouldn’t call any of these characters sidekicks or that their stories weren’t important, just that Rey’s story was the primary one.

        In fact, I think Finn’s storyline is very powerful. Starting in The Force Awakens, he wanted to help the Resistance, but he didn’t know how. His instinct was to run away when things got hard. In The Last Jedi, in spending time with Rose, someone so dedicated to the Resistance, he saw how important it was to not just be neutral or self-serving about a movement that matters. That people have to actively fight for change. He was willing to die and help his friends for that cause by the end of the film. And in the third film, he helped mobilize other defectors to fight against the First Order, coming up with his own plans to take down enemy ships. I’d say that’s a pretty awesome and linear story arc.

      • Mia4s says:

        I think that’s a very (very!) generous read @Case but to each there own. 🙂

        You did sort of touch on one of the elements that ruined any chance I had of liking this trilogy:

        “ coming up with his own plans to take down enemy ships“

        Yep…and in doing so he helps kill thousands of kidnapped and brainwashed child-soldiers without our heroes ever mentioning it or seeming even slightly bothered by it. What was the point of that backstory if you weren’t going to address it? In the original trilogy the bad guys are just bad guys. In this one those are kidnapped, abused children and never once does any hero try to sway them or save them. Or even mention trying! Nope, die faceless losers! Yay our heroes? It’s an awful set up.

      • Case says:

        @Mia4s I totally agree with you on that. It makes no sense to present the new stormtroopers as brainwashed, stolen children and then treat them like they’re just as bad as everyone else in the First Order. There was a HUGE missed opportunity to feature some sort of stormtrooper uprising, or our heroes making stormtroopers aware of what they’d been conditioned to believe, or something. I think that final film could use a 4-hour extended edition a la Lord of the Rings. It was fairly short for that type of movie and spent a lot of time on things it didn’t need to, and I’m saying this as someone who was generally very happy with Rise of Skywalker.

        That said, my reading is probably generous because I try very hard to judge movies by working with what they’ve given me to work with rather than the ifs, ands, or buts about what I would’ve liked to see, because ultimately I’m not writing the movie and it’s a good way to ruin my enjoyment of a ton of movies. I hated, LOATHED Endgame, and it’s my own fault, because I compared it to the movie I wrote it to be in my head.

        If I looked at any Star Wars film through a critical lens, I’m not sure they’d hold up at all, but my connection to these films is more emotional than anything else. So it’s my way of enjoying a series that means a lot to me as much as possible, but I 100% respect the value of critiquing it as well! I do stand by what I said about Finn’s storyline though — I think it is WILDLY similar to Han’s arc, for better or worse, which doesn’t get the same criticism anymore as it did when those films first came out.

  4. Mia4s says:

    It was a great speech. Period.

    Leaving that aside, if I’m being honest some of those tweets were cringe city. “I would crawl on broken glass for him to just glance at something I wrote!” and a few of that tenure. A lot of them felt rather “I would have voted for Obama a third time!” (I love “Get Out”).

    Although do I understand why some of them would try to overcompensate? *looks at cast lists for their last few projects* ummm, yes, yes I do.

    • lucy2 says:

      Oooh, good point about looking at their past cast lists. Hopefully some people are calling them on that, and they will do better in the future. John’s not the only black actor out there deserving of good roles!

  5. Bella says:

    Well done, John. Very proud of you.

  6. Jess says:

    He had me in tears, love him and his passion.

  7. TheOriginalMia says:

    I’m so proud of him. He has put up with so much and he’s never wavered. His speech was profound and raw. His pain was palpable.

  8. LULU wang was robbed says:

    Daisy “how am I more privileged than John?” Ridley staying conspicuously quiet while her mate does the heavy lifting I see 👀

  9. Rani says:

    Loved him since Attack the Block. It’s a great film if anyone wants to check it out! His speech was so powerful, totally unapologetic. Bravo.

  10. YAS says:

    What a great speech. I also saw that Rian Johnson tweeted his support as well. I think after the success of Knives Out, he’s going to have a lot of producers who’d want to work on his projects and I would love nothing more than a Rian Johnson film with Boyega in the lead.

    I got a DVD of Attack the Block from my cousin who works in the film industry for Christmas in 2011 or 2012 and have been utterly obsessed with Boyega ever since. He’s the only reason I actually watched Star Wars after decades of apathy (despite pleas from my husband to watch). More John Boyega everything, please.

  11. Jess says:

    He’s awesome and Jordan Peele’s tweet in response to John’s concern bout never working again was the best. I love them both.

  12. Becks1 says:

    Excellent speech. I liked that Matthew Cherry specifically asked for white producers/directors to support him as well.

  13. Anna06 says:

    I haven’t always agreed with John in the past, but I’m seeing now that he was let down hard by Disney, Lucas Film, and the directors/producers of SW. His character was made a joke in the ST by the end and he received racist harassment by fans. And now people like Disney and JJ are claiming to support him on twitter when they were throwing him under the bus before.

    Anyway, good for him for not backing down.

  14. Case says:

    This made me cry. Particularly as a Star Wars fan, it’s just very moving to see someone as a resistance leader in the films and then emulate the same passion and bravery in real life. Speaking out on this issue shouldn’t have to be a “resistance” in real life, though.

  15. Kari says:

    I love John and wish him nothing but the best. You could hear the genuine emotion in every word. And as beautiful as this speech was I really hate the fact that Black folks even have to show us their raw pain for us to even consider how messed up our systems are.

    I hope that every single non-Black person that promised to have his back follows through. As someone who has been in organizing spaces for over 10 years, it it so annoying to see all the recent performative wokeness of companies and individuals. They better have his back and if not I hope we are keeping receipts (*judging them in Spanish).