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John Boyega blasts Disney over treatment while filming Star Wars

In a recent interview with GQ, actor John Boyega calls on Disney for its treatment of black actors and actresses, especially in his role as a stormtrooper in the iconic Star Wars franchise. Yahoo Finance's Sibile Marcellus joins The First Trade with Alexis Christoforous and Brian Sozzi to discuss.

Video Transcript

BRIAN SOZZI: All right, one of the stars of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is speaking out against brand owner Disney. In a new "GQ" interview, actor John Boyega, who plays a stormtrooper in "Force Awakens," calls out Disney for its treatment of Black actors and actresses. Yahoo Finance's Sibile Marcellus joins us now. Sibile, what are the details here?

SIBILE MARCELLUS: So Brian, what we're seeing here is actor John Boyega, who's been featured in the "Star Wars" franchise, but also been an active protester and activist in the Black Lives Matter movement, is calling out Disney for his experience working on the "Star Wars" franchise. And he did an interview with "GQ UK," and here's what he said.

Quote, "what I would say to Disney is do not bring out a Black character, market them to be much more important in the franchise than they are, and then have them pushed to the side." So there, Boyega referring to the fact that he played a character called Finn, a former stormtrooper, but seeing that he and other Black actors were pushed to the side and had roles that were less nuanced than their counterparts.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: And I guess, you know, this all comes at a time when Hollywood and non-Hollywood folks alike are mourning the death of Chadwick Boseman. He was involved in the Black Lives Matter as well?

SIBILE MARCELLUS: Well, Chadwick Boseman, unfortunately, as we know, he passed away. But he was able to play prominent figures. He was the star of the films that he was in, just to name a few, "42," the Jackie Robinson story, obviously, "Black Panther." He also played James Brown. So those are enviable roles that Black actors aspire to.

And what we're seeing here is John Boyega calling out Disney for, in his case, he feels not offering him as big a role as he believes was marketed to the public.

BRIAN SOZZI: And Sibile, real quickly, has Disney responded?

SIBILE MARCELLUS: We-- I haven't seen Disney's response yet. I will definitely be on the lookout for it.

BRIAN SOZZI: All right, Sibile Marcellus, thanks so much.