John Boyega Forgot Who He Was For a Minute

john boyega

John Boyega stepped into and then out of it.

Devan Coggan writes:

John Boyega, the star of Star Wars: The Force Awakens won best male performance in film at this year’s Screen Nation Awards, which honor diverse talent in U.K. film and television, and in his acceptance speech, Boyega addressed the ongoing debate about diversity in Hollywood.

“To complain about what is going on is not going to benefit us,” Boyega said in his speech. “Be the change you want to be. Be the change, and continue and focus.”

 

Later, he took to Twitter to clarify his comments, saying that his intent wasn’t to criticize people who spoke up about diversity.

John Boyega

Respectability Politics Smited

I think the last tweet was the most important one. We have covered the idea of respectability politics before in reference to Cam Newton’s black detractors:

Respectability politics are the attempts by marginalized groups to police their own members and show their social values as being continuous and compatible with mainstream values rather than challenging the mainstream for its failure to accept the difference. I loathe this as it allows the majority to point towards those within these marginalized groups as agreeing with them that they are the source of their own subjection to inequality and injustice. Examples of this include black people whom were against the civil rights movement, and women who don’t believe in equality of the sexes (otherwise known as feminism).

Diversity is the reason Boyega was on Star Wars. I think he realized that he should be thanking the people that do speak up to create more opportunities for minorities.

This is not to say Boyega is not a good actor, but his initial idea that those speaking about issues of diversity are the equivalent of not working to affect change were troubling to say the least. I am glad he clarified them.

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