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.”
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.”
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.
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