John Boyega broke down in tears as he explained "how painful" it is to be told his "race means nothing" during a protest in London over the death of George Floyd.
The Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker star joined protestors at Hyde Park in London on Wednesday (Jun 3) as part of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has seen protests take place across America and other parts of the world after an unarmed black man by the name of George Floyd was killed when a police offer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes during an arrest.
During the protest, John gave an impassioned speech where he admitted he was unsure if his comments would cost him his career, but said speaking "from [his] heart" is more important.
He told the crowd: "We are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd. We are a physical representation of our support for Sandra Bland. We are a physical representation of our support for Trayvon Martin. We are a physical representation of our support for Stephen Lawrence.
"I'm speaking to you from my heart. Look, I don't know if I'm going to have a career after this, but f*** that.
"Today is about innocent people who were halfway through their process, we don't know what George Floyd could have achieved, we don't know what Sandra Bland could have achieved, but today we're going to make sure that won't be an alien thought to our young ones."
The 28-year-old actor was moved to tears as he spoke about the "pain" black people have felt at the hands of systemic racism, and insisted protesting for change is "so vital".
He added: "Every black person in here remembered when another person reminded you that you were black.
"So none of you out there, all those protesters on the other side, protesting against what we want to do, protesting against what we want to try and achieve, burn you, this is so vital.
"I need you to understand how painful this sh*t is. I need you to understand how painful it is to be reminded every day that your race means nothing and that isn't the case anymore, that was never the case anymore."
John ended his speech with a powerful message that "black lives have always mattered".
He said: "Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain't waiting."
Lucasfilm expressed support for John via the official Star Wars Twitter account in a statement. It wrote: “Lucasfilm stands with John Boyega and his message that", ‘now is the time'."
It added, “The evil that is racism must stop. We will commit to being part of the change that is long overdue in the world. John Boyega, you are our hero.”
Photos: TPG News/Click Photos