John Boyega Calls Out The Lack Of Diversity On 'Game Of Thrones' & Makes A Valid Point
With his new movie Detroit set to premiere in August, John Boyega pointed out Game of Thrones' lack of diversity — and the lack of diversity in Hollywood in general. In a recent interview with GQ, the 25-year-old actor, who rose to national attention following his role in the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, expressed his dismay over the fact that people of color are underrepresented on Game Of Thrones as well as other dramas of its kind. "There are no black people on Game of Thrones..." he said. "You don't see one black person in Lord of the Rings." (Bustle has reached out to HBO for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.)
While his statement may not be entirely true as there have been a handful of black actors in the GoT roster over the past seven seasons, Boyega's sentiments on the subject are still valid. It's true that literally all of the key players of the fantasy drama are white with the inclusion of the very few actors of color — most who have notably been cast in positions of servitude. There have been very few black characters on the series during its six year run, such as Missandei, Areo Hotah, Salladhor Saan, Xaro Xhoan Daxos, and Grey Worm. The fact that we can actually count the black actors on one hand proves that there's some type of disconnect with the casting in Hollywood that needs to be addressed.
In his interview, Boyega appears to be more than prepared to start that discussion as he expresses his frustration about the continuing lack of diversity on television and in movies:
The British actor's viewpoint is most certainly not a new one. There has been a huge push for an increase of roles for people of color for many years. And as many continue to fight for equality in many capacities throughout the world, the theme of Boyega's latest storyline could prove to be his biggest challenge yet. With his role in Detroit, the actor has to recount one of the most violent civil disturbances in our nation's history. The Detroit riots of 1967 claimed the lives of 43 people, 33 of whom were black, with many gunned down by the very police who were put into place to protect them.
The narrative seems to be one that weighs heavy on the Boyega in many ways with the entertainer telling GQ, “being black, going through what we've been through… the past is still hanging over our heads.” Lending more of reality to the situation, the movie's creator, Kathryn Bigelow, points out that some 50 years later, “it feels all too reminiscent of today.”
With just a few short years on the Hollywood scene, Boyega seems to know exactly how he wants to be represented in the acting community. Although he is not satisfied with the roles (or lack thereof) being handed out to black entertainers, his conviction doing what he can to fix the matter will be certainly needed to help move things in the right direction.