Star Wars actor John Boyega took to social media to call out racism and mourn for George Floyd, the man who died after a Minneapolis police officer was filmed weighing down on him with a knee on his neck as he gasped for air.
“This just burns. Seems to be a never ending cycle. The murderers need to be charged severely. Even in the face of death this man was given zero empathy,” Boyega posted on Twitter on Wednesday, with the hashtags “#RIPGeorgeFloyd #BlackLivesMatter #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd.”
“I really f-cking hate racists,” Boyega tweeted a few minutes later. That post racked up over 1.3 million likes as of Thursday morning, with some people taking issue with Boyega’s language.
“Hate [is] a strong word,” one user wrote in response, “[W]e can’t conquer hatred with hatred. We rather say we hate their attitude.” Boyega replied, “I said what I said. Speak for yourself at all times x.”
His words garnered many comments from supporters, as well as detractors. Boyega responded to many of them clarifying his positions and calling out people who disagreed with him and reminding people offended by his language that this was his personal account. “I am not here for the kids,” he tweeted.
Later, in an Instagram Live video containing explicit language, shared on Twitter, Boyega confirmed his beliefs, saying again: “I hate racists with a passion.”
He continued: “It’s very, very important at this time that we ignore ignorance and we ignore people that come through and try to make these situations what they’re not.”
In response to comments that standing against racism may affect his acting career, he shrugged them off. “It’s not about career, it’s not about money,” the actor said. “All those things were just a part of my dream, just a part of working. That’s got nothing to do with how you treat people.”
“You lot can’t rattle me. I’m not the guy to be rattled. I wasn’t raised by no weak people,” he went on to say.
Boyega is far from the only celebrity to comment on Floyd’s death. Beyoncé, Ciara, Justin Bieber, Billie Eilish, Kim Kardashian West, Cardi B, and many more paid tribute to the man while calling for justice.
In the wake of Floyd’s killing, the four officers involved in the incident were fired, and people, including the mayor of Minneapolis, have called for them to face criminal charges. Floyd’s death has sparked clashes between police and protesters in Minneapolis.