John Boyega, the black British actor who was cast in a lead role in the new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, has already responded to racist fans of the the franchise. When a trailer of the movie was released late last year, they were grumpy that a black man, Boyega, was playing a Stormtrooper.
"Get used to it," Boyega said in an Instagram post about the criticism.
Fast-track nearly one year later, and Boyega is still clapping back at his haters with that same tone. In an interview with V Magazine, he's basically advising racists that they're going to have to swallow their racism while watching this film, and upcoming movies in general, since the arc of film casting is moving toward diversity. He thinks that all of this racist negativity is therefore "unnecessary."
"I'm in the movie; what are you going to do about it? You either enjoy it or you don't," Boyega said. "I'm not saying get used to the future, but what is already happening. People of color and women are increasingly being shown on-screen. For things to be whitewashed just doesn't make sense," Boyega argued.
Boyega explained how he's proud of the work he's taken on as a professional actor, which has showcased a range of black experiences. He works hard to kick down stereotypes.
"All the films I've done have had a secret commentary on stereotypical mentalities," Boyega said. "It's about getting people to drop a prejudiced state of mind and realize, 'Oh s—t, we're just watching normal people.' "
It sounds a bit like Michael B. Jordan's desire not to be perceived as a black actor, but "an actor" in general—whatever that means. I can't wait until we get to the point where black people don't mind being perceived as black, because that feature will have absolutely no effect on how white people view us.
Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features video interviews with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.