The actor said his character Finn – who started out as a Stormtrooper – was pushed as a main character in The Force Awakens only to be given a minimal role in the follow ups The Last Jedi and The Rise Of Skywalker.
He felt his co-stars Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver were allowed to have ‘more nuance’ as Rey and Kylo Ren respectively, while he and Kelly Marie Tran, who has Vietnamese heritage, were given one-dimensional roles and were insulted by so-called fans.
John told GQ: ‘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. 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 f*** 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.’
Kelly was forced to quit social media in 2018 over abuse she received online for her role as Rose Tico.
The Attack The Block star revealed he had suffered similar abuse and threats, as well as racist slurs, which has now made him ‘militant’.
‘I’m the only cast member who had their own unique experience of that franchise based on their race,’ he said.
‘Let’s just leave it like that. It makes you angry with a process like that. It makes you much more militant; it changes you.’
John went on: ‘Nobody else had the uproar and death threats sent to their Instagram DMs and social media, saying, “Black this and black that and you shouldn’t be a Stormtrooper.”
‘Nobody else had that experience. But yet people are surprised that I’m this way. That’s my frustration.’
Since the franchise ended the star has been much more vocal about issues of racial inequality.
In June this year the British actor went viral for a speech he gave during a Black Lives Matter protest in London’s Hyde Park.
At the time he feared he might have torpedoed his career, but the black community, his fans – and JJ – said he had nothing to worry about.
‘Sometimes you just need to be mad,’ he said, recalling his passionate address to the crowd.
‘You need to lay down what it is that’s on your mind. Sometimes you don’t have enough time to play the game.’
Read the full feature in the October issue of British GQ available from Friday September 4.
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