British-Nigerian actor John Boyega has called out Disney for racism in the last Star Wars film.
The actor said that non-whites actors are ‘pushed-to-the-side’ in Disney’s The Rise of Skywalker.
The Londoner played Finn in the latest trilogy, which concluded last year.
But he said the film-makers didn’t know what to do with his and other diverse characters in The Rise of Skywalker.
“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,” he told GQ.
“It’s not good. I’ll say it straight up.”
Boyega, who In Star Wars Episodes VII, VIII and IX, played a runaway Stormtrooper at Rey’s side as a member of the resistance, acknowledged an actor is “not necessarily going to like everything” in a film. He said Star Wars was an “amazing opportunity” and a “stepping stone”.
But he vented his displeasure about the storylines in The Rise of Skywalker.
“You guys knew what to do with Daisy Ridley, you knew what to do with Adam Driver, you knew what to do with these other people,” he told the magazine.
Ridley’s character Rey and Driver, as Kylo Ren, were at the heart of the plot about the fate of the Jedi and the Skywalker dynasty.
But the film-makers didn’t know what do to with Finn or Kelly Marie Tran’s character Rose, Boyega said. He also suggested Naomi Ackie, the black British actress who played Jannah, and Guatemalan-born Oscar Isaac, who played Poe, were similarly marginalised.
“What do you want me to say?” Boyega continued. “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.”
He also spoke about hairstylists who had no experience of working with hair like his but “still had the guts to pretend”.q
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