John Boyega, the first actor of color to be cast in a lead role in a ‘Star Wars’ movie, has blasted popular HBO series ‘Game of Thrones’ for its lack of diversity, citing ‘Lord of the Rings’ as another franchise totally devoid of people of color.
In an interview with GQ, Boyega commented: “There are no black people on ‘Game of Thrones.’ You don’t see one black person in ‘Lord of the Rings.’” While ‘Game of Thrones’ does feature some minor characters of color, none hold lead roles and every character in ‘Lord of the Rings’ is, indeed, white.
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“I ain’t paying money to always see one type of person on-screen” said Boyega. “Because you see different people from different backgrounds, different cultures, every day. Even if you’re a racist, you have to live with that. We can ruffle up some feathers.”
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It is not the first time the issue of race has been raised in relation to ‘Game of Thrones.’ The show has drawn criticism for its depiction of slavery and abolition in a storyline surrounding Emilia Clarke’s character, Queen Daenerys Targaryen, who sets out to end the slave trade. The scene most cited for this argument sees Clarke’s character, having successfully liberated the city of Yunkai, “borne aloft by the darker-skinned inhabitants of the city” and was slammed for its “colonialist” undertones.
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A fan recently asked GoT author George R.R. Martin: “must all black people in the series be servants, guards, or charlatans?” Martin assured the fan that while Westeros 300AC was “nowhere near as diverse as 21st century America,” more POC characters can be expected in ‘Winds of Winter.’
Here’s hoping for more representation as the series progresses!
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