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“Do not bring out a black character, market them to be much more important in the franchise than they are and then have them pushed to the side," John Boyega, who played Finn in the latest Star Wars installments told protestors in London this summer.
The character he is referring to is his character in the movie, Finn. In Episode 7 he was one of the main characters and Boyega feels that his character wasn't properly developed in subsequent episodes, according to GQ Magazine.
He was asked to speak at the protest in Hyde Park on June 3. What followed was an explosive and rhetorical speech which went viral on social media. Here is an excerpt:
"During the press of [The Force Awakens] I went along with it," he notes. "And obviously at the time I was very genuinely happy to be a part of it. But my dad always tells me one thing: 'Don’t overpay with respect.; You can pay respect, but sometimes you’ll be overpaying and selling yourself short."
"You get yourself involved in projects and you're not necessarily going to like everything. [But] what I would say to Disney is do not bring out a black character, market them to be much more important in the franchise than they are and then have them pushed to the side. It's not good. I'll say it straight up."
"Like, you guys knew what to do with Daisy Ridley, you knew what to do with Adam Driver," he says. "You knew what to do with these other people, but when it came to Kelly Marie Tran, when it came to John Boyega, you know fuck all. So what do you want me to say? What they want you to say is, 'I enjoyed being a part of it. It was a great experience...' Nah, nah, nah. I'll take that deal when it's a great experience. They gave all the nuance to Adam Driver, all the nuance to Daisy Ridley. Let’s be honest. Daisy knows this. Adam knows this. Everybody knows. I'm not exposing anything."