‘Star Wars’ actor John Boyega risked professional fallout and delivered a powerful speech at a Black Lives Matter protest in London’s Hyde Park on Wednesday.
His impassioned remarks about George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis highlighted racism and police brutality in Boyega’s native United Kingdom and resonated worldwide.
“I’m speaking to you from my heart. Look, I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but ... that,” he said, dropping an F-bomb.
Boyega’s presence at the protest went viral, earning him broad praise from Hollywood and particularly from his ‘Star Wars’ family.
“You KNOW that as long as I’m allowed to keep working, I’ll always be begging to work with you. Deep respect and love, my friend,” J.J. Abrams, who directed ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ and ‘The Rise of Skywalker’, tweeted at the English actor, who portrayed Finn in the franchise.
Gripping a megaphone, Boyega, 28, was often overwhelmed with emotion as fellow protesters encouraged him to stay strong.
“This is very vital. Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded, regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting!” he said, his voice growing coarse amid cheers from the crowd.
Lucasfilm tweeted a statement of solidarity on Wednesday, quoting Boyega and calling him a hero: “The evil that is racism must stop. We will commit to being part of the change that is long overdue in the world.”
The official ‘Star Wars’ Twitter account mirrored that support with its own tweet that read, “We stand with and support you, @JohnBoyega.”
‘Star Wars’ icon Mark Hamill was impressed too: “Never been more proud of you, John,” he tweeted, signing his message with “(love), dad.”
Boyega might have worried about his career prospects after the protest, but it’s clear plenty in Hollywood would love to work with him.