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John Boyega says he does not want to ‘work in fear’ in the US

The actor defended his right to speak out on racism in the country.

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Star Wars actor John Boyega (Ian West/PA)

Star Wars actor John Boyega (Ian West/PA)

Star Wars actor John Boyega (Ian West/PA)

John Boyega said he does not want to “work in fear” when he is in the US as he addressed the unrest that has been triggered by the death of a black man during a police arrest.

Last week in Minneapolis, George Floyd died after pleading for air as a white police officer pressed his knee into his neck.

In a response to a Twitter user who said he should not comment on the incident as he is not an American, Boyega defended his right to speak out about racism in the US.

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John Boyega (Isabel Infantes/PA)

John Boyega (Isabel Infantes/PA)

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John Boyega (Isabel Infantes/PA)

The Star Wars actor said that he has “family and friends there who could be any one of the victims of things that don’t change”.

Boyega added that he is in the country for half the year and does not “want to work in fear”.

Other celebrities have also spoken out about Mr Floyd’s death and the protests in the US.

Comedian Paddy McGuinness said that his death “can’t be in vain”.

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Paddy McGuinness shared a message on Twitter (Ian West/PA)

Paddy McGuinness shared a message on Twitter (Ian West/PA)

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Paddy McGuinness shared a message on Twitter (Ian West/PA)

He added: “I was lucky to grow up in a multicultural area.

“Playing in various households I learned one thing, that we’re all the same.”

Actress Emily Atack also shared a message about racism.

She said on Twitter that she pledges to “educate myself and be a part of permanent change”.

She shared the message alongside an image of a white and a black hand clasped together next to a message which said: “I understand that I will never understand.”

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) shared a message of solidarity on Twitter with “the black community, our members, colleagues and the industry” in a statement which pledged to “fight for greater justice and equality in society”.

The statement added: “BAFTA condemns racism, injustice and inequality in all its forms, and the tragic death of George Floyd must be a catalyst for real change.”

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively have donated more than £160,000 to a civil rights organisation in response to the protests.

Announcing the move on Instagram, actor Reynolds wrote: “We’ve never had to worry about preparing our kids for different rules of law or what might happen if we’re pulled over in the car.

“We don’t know what it’s like to experience that life day in and day out.

“We can’t imagine feeling that kind of fear and anger.”

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Chrissy Teigen and John Legend have previously pledged money to help pay for the bail of arrested protesters.

Singer Legend wrote on Twitter on Sunday that “Americans have the first amendment right to peacefully protest oppression and injustice”.

UK musician Harry Styles has also pledged to donate money to help pay for protesters to be bailed.

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