John Boyega made it clear in the past that he wasn’t happy about how Marvel handled the racist backlash he received from Star Wars fans. The 29-year-old actor has spoken openly about his dissatisfaction with the way studio executives failed to address the racist remarks he received, as well as how they seemingly pushed his character to the side in latter films.
However, Boyega does admire the way Marvel, a separate entertainment franchise, also owned by Disney—has been working to address issues of diversity and inclusion in their projects.
‘Star Wars’ actor John Boyega praised Marvel’s character development and storytelling
Boyega shared his thoughts on Marvel Studios’ proficiency with character and narrative development during a recent interview with NPR’s Fresh Air podcast.
“The characters are only as good as the moments that you give them. When we talk about, you know, Captain America and him kind of facing off Thanos and his army, when you talk about these moments that are given to characters, it’s only because these moments are written by somebody. These moments are put in there on purpose to elevate characters.”
He appreciates Marvel’s efforts to elevate BIPOC voices
During a 2020 interview with GQ, Boyega expressed his displeasure with the way Star Wars developed his character, feeling that the studio marketed his character as important, but then pushed him aside. On the Fresh Air podcast, Boyega noted that there’s a stark difference between the way Marvel and Star Wars have been developing their BIPOC characters.
“We’ve got people now watching Falcon And The Winter Soldier, and a lot of people have been commenting about the elevation of Falcon’s character – right? – in the series and how they’ve really done well with bringing him up, which I also agree as well. You know, and we can see there is – that’s because you give characters these special moments, you know.”
John Boyega has had issues with racism and the ‘Star Wars’ fandom
For those unfamiliar with Boyega’s experiences, while working on Star Wars, his claims could seem unwarranted. However, during his same 2020 interview with GQ, he revealed the various forms of racism he received while working with the franchise.
“Nobody else in the cast had people saying they were going to boycott the movie because [they were in it]. Nobody else had the uproar and death threats sent to their Instagram DMs and social media, saying, ‘Black this and black that and you shouldn’t be a Stormtrooper.’ Nobody else had that experience. But yet people are surprised that I’m this way. That’s my frustration,” Boyega said.
He wasn’t satisfied with the way ‘Star Wars’ execs handled the controversy
Boyega also expressed in a separate interview with Variety that he was very disappointed by the way Star Wars’ studio executives handled the racist backlash he received from fans. He then outlined a few things he felt the studio could’ve done to help the situation.
“When one of your actors, especially an actor that’s so prominent in the story, is announced as part of your franchise and then it has a big racial backlash and receives abuse online and that starts to form a shadow on what is supposed to be an amazing gift, it is important for the studios to definitely lend their voice, lend their support to that and to have a sense of solidarity not just in the public eye, but on the ground on set.
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