Boyega took to Twitter on Thursday to clarify his remarks to Variety’s Adam B. Vary that social media was a tough environment “for those who are not mentally strong” and that “you are weak to believe in every single thing that you read.” Some interpreted Boyega’s comments as a slam on Tran, who quit social media last year after months of harassment.
Boyega said Thursday that he was not speaking of his co-star, whose character in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Rose Tico, was the first woman of color in a lead role in the iconic franchise.
“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.”
He added that his feelings about the abuse Tran suffered remained the same as those he articulated when she decided to leave social media last year. “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!”
Boyega himself is a frequent user of social media, with more than a million followers on both Twitter and Instagram. In his interview with Variety, 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.”
Boyega’s apology on Twitter on Thursday generated more comments from followers, some of whom thanked him for clarifying his remarks and others who criticized him for giving in to what they thought was unreasonable criticism.
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” hits theaters next week.