John Boyega has been praised for a series of uncompromising social media posts speaking out about racism in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers.
Boyega’s initial Tweet, “I really fucking hate racists”, currently has 1.3m likes, but came in for criticism for his hard-hitting tone and use of an expletive.
The actor, whose engagement with political and social issues has increased since the conclusion of the Star Wars trilogy in which he starred, then clarified that he meant, specifically, “WHITE on BLACK racism … the kind that has ruined the world”.
He then added: “This is my own personal account. I am not here for the kids.”
Boyega, who lives in London, expanded on his thoughts in an Instagram Live video, saying: “A black man was just murdered in cold blood in the street Stateside again, while saying he can’t breathe. That’s a continuous cycle going on.
“Although I don’t live in the States, I’m black … So I’ll say it again: fuck you racist white people. I said what I said. And if you don’t fucking like it, go suck a dick.”
Boyega, 28, who says he has encountered racist abuse since childhood, added he would block all those who replied in an offensive way to his posts, and continued: “You lot can’t rattle me. I’m not the guy to be rattled. I wasn’t raised by no weak people.”
Boyega later noted on Twitter that his mother had called him a “Good Boy” for his actions.
Celebrities including Amber Riley, Yvette Nicole Brown and Dylan O’Brien were swift to back Boyega on social media. Others to use the forum to express their shock and anger at Floyd’s death include Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, Cardi B and Justin Bieber, who posted: “This makes me absolutely sick. This makes me angry this man DIED. This makes me sad. Racism is evil We need to use our voice! Please people.”