John Boyega may no longer be part of the Star Wars galaxy after last year’s The Rise of Skywalker, but the passionately outspoken actor is still very much a part of the Disney family.
Just hours after giving a powerful speech on the death of George Floyd, racism and police violence at a Black Lives Matter march in London that the Detroit star worried may end his career, Boyega was given the full backing of the George Lucas-created franchise and its corporate parents.
In a tweet that just went out on the official Star Wars feed, the Kathleen Kennedy-run Lucasfilm calls the man who played Finn for three films a “hero.” As other filmmakers had already offered over the day to work with Boyega anytime, the post stated that “LucasFilm stands with John Boyega” and the message went on to unequivocally support his BLM message:
This follows days of ardent posting by Boyega on social media about the May 25 killing of Floyd by four Minneapolis police officers, who were subsequently fired and now face criminal charges.
Today the Attack the Block alum joined thousands in London’s Hyde Park.
“I’m speaking to you from my heart,” Boyega told the crowd, “Look, I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but fuck that,” he added. “This is so vital,” the actor proclaimed, listing off the names of black men and women killed by police over the past two decades. “I need you guys to understand how painful this shit is.”
“Today is about innocent people who were halfway through their process,” Boyega went on to say, while unsuccessfully fighting back tears. “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,” the actor declared.
Wednesday also saw Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison upgrade the charges against ex-cop Derek Chauvin to second-degree murder in Floyd’s death. The three other officers at the scene on the street last week are now charged with “aiding and abetting.” If found guilty, Chauvin could spend decades behind bars. The Floyd family wants Chauvin charged with first-degree murder and the life imprisonment sentence it carries.
After executives Bob Chapek, Bob Iger and Latondra Newton sent out a memo to staff on May 30 pledging “real change” in race relations and diversity, Disney today pledged $5 million to support nonprofit organizations that advance social justice. The company said that supports starts with a $2 million donation to the NAACP.