Star Wars actor John Boyega has been a crucial voice in London’s Black Lives Matter movement, and on Wednesday, he noted the possibility that his passion for racial justice would damage his Hollywood career. In turn, several prominent members of the industry stepped up to reassure him that they weren’t going to let that happen.
Even as he began speaking out about George Floyd’s murder on Twitter last week, Boyega received backlash from fans telling him to tone it down. But not only did he not tone it down, he delivered a forceful, emotional speech in Hyde Park during Wednesday’s protests that quickly went viral:
“Thank you for coming out today, thank you for being there to show your support to us,” Boyega said to the crowd of protesters. “Black people: I love you. I appreciate you. Today is an important day. We are fighting for our rights. We are fighting for our ability to live in freedom.” According to Metro UK, he added:
“We are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd. We are a physical representation of our support for Sandra Bland. We are a physical representation of our support for Trayvon Martin. We are a physical representation of our support for Stephen Lawrence.”
“I’m speaking to you from my heart,” he continued. “Look, I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but fuck that.”
Not long after that, support for Boyega—and his career—started rolling in:
Though Boyega’s role as Finn in Star Wars wrapped after The Rise of Skywalker, the franchise made it clear they were still with him. According to Deadline:
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: