In a tweet, John Boyega slammed Star Wars fans who compared the George Floyd protests to the violence that the franchise’s characters, many of whom are white, have faced at the hands of fictional soldiers called Stormtroopers. Boyega, who played Finn in the most recent Star Wars trilogy, criticized fans who co-opted his tweets about Black Lives Matter and system racism with tweets about he needs to “talk about police brutality against white people.”
“Don’t waste time tweeting ‘you need to talk about police brutality against white people’ go for one of your celeb coons for that. That Star Wars movie got you lot all the way fucked up. I am staying on topic. We are addressing a specific issue,” he tweeted on May 30. He also wrote, “Their statements in itself has divided them. Very simple.”
After his tweet, many supportive fans retweeted Boyega’s post, where they also criticized other Star Wars fans for their ignorance and insensitivity. “The irony of sci-fi fans loving you as the hero of a make-believe resistance having a problem with you supporting a real world revolution,” Context Media editor-in-chief Torraine Walker tweeted. Another user responded, “they’re insane thinking they have the right to police your words and your experiences.”
Boyega’s tweets come after days of protests across the world in support of Black Lives Matter and against the systemic violence racism against black people by law enforcement and the United States criminal justice system. Hundreds of thousands of people marched in protests across the world, from Los Angeles to New Zealand, over the weekend after the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man, who was murdered by a white police officer in Minnesota on May 25. Four days after his death, the police officer, Derek Chuavin, who killed Floyd by placing his knee on his neck for nine minutes, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. The other three police officers who were present and did nothing to prevent Floyd’s death are still under investigation as of May 29. All the officers have since been fired.