John Boyega has clarified his comments about fandom culture.
In a recent interview with Variety, the Star Wars actor talked about how he copes with the social media pressure that comes with being part of the iconic franchise. Fans of the series will recall that Boyega's The Last Jedi co-star, Kelly Marie Tran—the first woman of color to snag a leading role in the franchise—quit social media in June 2018 following months of racist online harassment.
In his interview, Boyega implied that people who give into the pressures of social media are weak, prompting backlash online for the apparent insensitivity to Tran's experiences.
As he said, "Through social media, we get to engage, we get to have fun. But at the same time, for those who are not mentally strong, you are weak to believe in every single thing that you read. That's, you know, it is what it is. I don't know, for me anyway, when I see that [backlash], I'm like, well, that's actually not true. But no, it is actually not true."
In a series of tweets on Thursday morning, the 27-year-old apologized for the comments and clarified his intentions.
As he wrote, "In no way was I referring to Kelly when I made my comments although the interviewer mentioned her given the topic. I was really speaking from my own perspective throughout this franchise. Sometimes I've felt strong and sometimes I've felt weak. Badly worded though. I apologize."
In a second tweet, he defended Tran, saying his perspective on her past mistreatment at the hands of avid Star Wars fans still remains the same. As he tweeted, "My comments on Kelly specifically and online harassment remains the same via a tweet I put out a few years ago."
Back in 2018, Boyega defended his co-star in the face of the unfair harassment she was receiving.
As he wrote in June 2018, "If you don't like Star Wars or the characters understand that there are decisions makers and harassing the actors/ actresses will do nothing. You're not entitled to politeness when your approach is rude. Even if you paid for a ticket!"
In August 2018, Tran spoke out about her decision to deactivate her social media accounts.
"It wasn't their words, it's that I started to believe them," the actress explained in an essay for The New York Times. "Their words seemed to confirm what growing up as a woman and a person of color already taught me: that I belonged in margins and spaces, valid only as a minor character in their lives and stories. And those words awakened something deep inside me—a feeling I thought I had grown out of."