The Star Wars star doubled and tripled down.
On Wednesday morning, actor John Boyega tweeted about the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.
“This just burns,” he wrote. “Seems to be a never-ending cycle. The murderers need to be charged severely. Even in the face of death, this man was given zero empathy.” Six minutes later, he followed up with a more aggressive statement. “I really fucking hate racists.”
This just burns. Seems to be a never ending cycle. The murderers need to be charged severely. Even in the face of death this man was given zero empathy. #RIPGeorgeFloyd #BlackLivesMatter #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/gyuaoC6vUh
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) May 27, 2020
Followers attempted to derail the conversation, saying that “hate” was too strong a word. Some asked Boyega to think of the younger fans of the Star Wars franchise who follow him on social media. “I said what I said,” he responded. “Speak for yourself at all times…this is my own personal account. I am not here for the kids.”
Boyega took to Instagram Live to double down on his statements. “So I’ll say it again…fuck you racist white people. I said what I said.”
john boyega went off on his live as he should pic.twitter.com/DyoztIaVpm
— netta (@hopelesshabit) May 27, 2020
The 28-year old Brit is no stranger to online backlash. After his debut as Finn in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, critics took aim at Boyega and the film’s director J.J. Abrams on social media. Despite the backlash, the film went on to gross over $2 billion at the box office on a $258 million net budget. In 2017, he posted a video dancing at Notting Hill Carnival which also led to online critique.