The protests against George Floyd's death at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis have sparked country-wide movements and prompted other countries to also hold protests in solidarity. Star Wars actor John Boyega attended a Black Lives Matter protest in London, where he gave a heartfelt speech to the crowds while admitting his outspokenness might cost him his career.
Despite his worries that his career was in jeopardy over the impassioned speech, many Hollywood directors came out in Boyega's support. They assured him they would love to work with him. This outpouring of love started with Us and Get Out director Jordan Peele.
Another filmmaker, Matthew A. Cherry, affirmed his intention to work with Boyega in the future while urging non-black artists to show support as well, as the protests behind the death of George Floyd continued.
Birds of Prey director Cathy Yan has faced a bit of controversy this week herself, after it was rumored she included a weird subplot in her Harley Quinn movie. Having put that behind her, she was quick to jump in and add add her support for the actor.
Edgar Wright, the driving force behind the recent hit Baby Driver, was one of the first to give John Boyega a break in the film business. He served as an executive producer behind John Boyega's breakthrough performance in Attack the Block. He went onto embrace the actor's actions, mentioned how proud he is of Boyega's speech.
Duncan Jones, son of David Bowie and the director behind movies such as Warcraft and Moon, had nothing but words of encouragement for his fellow Londoner.
A number of other writers and filmmakers also added their voices to the chorus of support for Boyega, including Phil Lord, Rodney Rothman, Christopher Miller, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Seth Grahame-Smith. Of course, the cast and crew of the Star Wars family were also quick to applaud the actor's stand, starting with the franchise's official Twitter handle sharing a link to his full speech, with Lucasfilm giving the actor their complete support.
Star Wars veteran Mark Hamill never got to share the screen with John Boyega in the recent Star Wars trilogy, but the pair became fast friends behind the scenes. Mark Hamill has been quite outspoken himself in recent years about a great many things. And Boyega has earned his full support. Hamill tweeted his pride in the actor.
Rian Johnson has nothing but love for John Boyega. The Last Jedi director worked with John Boyega quite extensively for the second installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. And stands behind his former co-worker. Johnson had this to say about Boyega's actions.
J.J. Abrams, who hired John Boyega to play Finn in The Force Awakens and returned to finish Finn's story arc in The Rise of Skywalker, was also there to lend his friend some encouragement. J.J. Abrams was quick to declare that he would always be begging to work with Boyega on just about any project that comes up in teh future.
Clearly, the actor is in no danger of losing out on work due to his words at the rally, which came from a place of raw emotions and hurt. Part of the speech can be read below.
"Hey, it's bad man. We can't be trust no more. We have to be better. You don't understand. I'm speaking to you from my heart. Look, I don't know if I'm going to have a career after this."
"Today is about innocent people who were halfway through that process. We don't know what George Floyd could have achieved. We don't know what Sandra Bland could have achieved, but today we're going to make sure that that won't be an alien thought to our young ones. I'm sure you all came today, you left your kids, and when you see your kids, they're aimlessly playing. They don't understand what's going on. Today's the day that we remind them that we are dedicated, and this is a lifelong dedication."
"Guys, we don't leave here and stop. We don't leave here and stop. This is longevity. Some of you are artists. Some of you are bankers. Some of you are lawyers. Some of you own shop stores, you are important. Your individual power, your individual right is very, very important. We can all join together to make this a better world. We can all do it together to make this special. We can all join together."
John Boyega previously starred in the movie Detroit, a fact-based drama set during the 1967 Detroit riots in which a group of rogue police officers respond to a complaint with retribution rather than justice on their minds. The movie closley mirrors what is going on in the U.S. right now. He will next be seen in Rebel Ridge, a high-velocity thriller that explores systemic American injustices through bone-breaking action sequences, suspense and dark humor.