Star Wars star John Boyega 'really sorry' for confusion over diversity comments

'Really feel bad for not clarifying and quite fearful that I've mislead many,' says actor

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Star Wars actor John Boyega has apologised for any misunderstanding over his comments about diversity at the Screen Nation Awards.

The 24-year-old Bafta-winning actor offered his thoughts on the diversity debate and the lack of screen roles for black and minority ethnic actors during his acceptance speech on Saturday. 

“To complain about what is going on is not going to benefit us. It is not,” Boyega said after being presented with the award for best male performance for his role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

“Be the change you want to be. Be the change. And continue and focus. Thank you so much.”

The Peckham-born-and-raised actor, who also won a Bafta for his role, later took to Twitter to clarify any confusion over his position.

“Regarding my comments at the screen nation awards (just to clarify) I am not saying that complaints are invalid or should not be heard. I am saying that words without action can't help right now. I agree that we need to be heard but some do the talking and no work," he wrote.

“I was full of emotion receiving the award and just wanted to say that there was work to be done.

“I'm not in this position without the people that champion me. I was in Peckham struggling not too long ago. I'm not above anyone X love. Really feel bad for not clarifying and quite fearful that I've mislead many. Not about respectability tactics. I'm really sorry X.”

The Screen Nation Awards, which took place in London on Saturday night, recognises emerging and established black and ethnic minority talent, helping to propel black film into the mainstream.

The overwhelming majority of Boyega’s followers tweeted their support for him, with many expressing gratitude for the clarification.

A minority of others disagreed, with one user arguing that: "There are great black actors that have 'worked hard' that spoke up about this. He needs to choose his words more carefully".