On Wednesday, June 3, actor John Boyega was branded “a hero” after he gave an impassioned Black Lives Matter speech during a George Floyd protest in London’s Hype Park.
For those who missed it, on May 25, the 46-year-old, unarmed black man died in Minneapolis, MN, after a police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes. The white officer — Derek Chauvin— did not move even as George repeatedly said “I can’t breathe,” as heard in a video captured by bystanders. The officer has since been arrested and charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, while fellow officers Thomas K. Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng — who were also present at the time of the incident — were charged with aiding and abetting murder.
“This is very important,” the Star Wars actor said through tears. “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 continued “I’m speaking to you from my heart. Look, I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but f**k that.”
The 28-year-old listed George and the names of other black men and women killed as a result of police brutality and declared, “Today is about innocent people who were halfway through their process.”
After clips of his speech hit the web, Disney and LucasFilm — the company behind the Star Wars franchise — showed their support for John on social media.
“LucasFilm stands with John Boyega and his message that, ‘Now is the time. Black lives have always mattered. Black lives have always been important. Black lives have always meant something.’ The evil that is racism must stop. We will commit to being part of the change that is long overdue in the world. John Boyega, you are our hero,” the statement read.
We stand with and support you, @JohnBoyega. View his full speech: https://t.co/Goxb5y2wrK pic.twitter.com/ZvE0t5tRPY
— Star Wars (@starwars) June 3, 2020
Aside from John, many stars, including Ariana Grande, Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes, Madison Beer, Ross Lynch, Jaz Sinclair, Timothée Chalamet, Lauren Jauregui, Harry Styles, Cole Sprouse, Halsey, Liam Payne, Niall Horan and tons more have also taken to the streets to protest amid the Black Lives Matter movement.
Love J-14? Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for fun, exclusive videos with your favorite stars.