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Sole Black ‘Star Wars’ Stormtrooper John Boyega Laments the Lack of Diversity In Sci-Fi, Fantasy

John Boyega knows a thing or two about the issue of diversity, considering his historic portrayal of a Black Stormtrooper in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Now, he wants more to be done when it comes to nonwhite actors appearing on the big screen.

“I ain’t paying money to always see one type of person onscreen,” the actor said in the August issue of GQ magazine, the cover of which he graces. “Because you see different people from different backgrounds, different cultures, everyday. Even if you’re a racist, you have to live with that. We can ruffle up some feathers.”

Boyega did just that when he took off his helmet as a Stormtrooper in 2015, leading to a wave of racist criticism from the Star Wars fan base. Still, many celebrated the depiction, including director Ava DuVernay, who shut down the hate by creating the hashtag, #CelebrateStarWarsVII. Yet, Boyega believes there is still a ways to go when it comes to nonwhite actors being cast in science fiction and fantasy roles.

“There are no Black people on ‘Game of Thrones,'” Boyega said. (GQ noted there actually are at least three Black characters on the series.) “You don’t see one Black person in ‘Lord of the Rings.'”

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For the Culture! GQ magazine

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