John Boyega quickly defended himself after receiving backlash for his social media comments about George Floyd.
Floyd, 46, was killed while in police custody. On Monday, May 25, a nine-minute video showed that he had been restrained by a police officer in Minneapolis. In the video, the officer was shown kneeling on the victim’s neck as he informed the officer that the act was hurting him. Less than one day after the attack circulated, four Minneapolis police officers were fired for their involvement in Floyd’s death.
Upon hearing of Floyd’s killing, Boyega decided to voice his frustrations on Twitter. According to HuffPost, Boyega sent several tweets that upset many of his 1.6 million followers. In the first post, the Star Wars actor shared a photo of Floyd on his timeline. He then captioned the post by saying he was fed up with the reports of black people getting killed by police brutality.
“This just burns,” Boyega 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.”
Boyega then followed with a second tweet. This time, he shared that he “really f*cking hates racists,” on his public platform — a statement that enraged some of his supporters, who felt that the language he used was too harsh for the situation. Many users also countered the actor’s tweets by saying that the star was only highlighting the racism between black and white people and neglected to point out the racism that occurs in other communities.
Boyega responded to several users and said the incident he was referring to was specifically about the racial incidents between white and black people, though he’s aware that other races face injustice as well.
“Please do shut up. I am being specific to a topic,” he wrote. “I am not talking about any other way. Given what is happening right now. So the wise thing for you to do is defo shut up. Do it well too my G.”
Although he rustled a few feathers, Boyega received more than 3,000 likes for his remarks. The actor is best known for his role as Finn in the Star Wars franchise and has used his likeness to address political and racial issues in the past. Recently, he spoke out against another outlet’s decision to call a traditional African haircut that it claimed was trending in Africa due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While Boyega’s tweets were one of the most controversial from a celebrity, multiple stars like Kim Kardashian, Cardi B, Demi Lovato, and Gayle King also spoke out about the ordeal in public and on their social media accounts.