Everybody’s talking about Robert Pattinson these days. From a number of more niche projects like The Lighthouse to his highly-anticipated upcoming turn as the caped crusader himself in The Batman, the English actor has made one heck of a name for himself in Hollywood over the years. It’s almost easy for some to forget how the Twilight films made him a star back in the day, and Pattinson himself even hilariously bashed those films during actual press tours and still to this day, despite their significance to his career, which Star Wars’ actor John Boyega noted.
So why is it that Pattinson seems to get a pass on such comments while Star Wars sequel trilogy star Boyega receives almost nothing but vitriol for doing the same thing? Boyega himself has been wondering about that for some time, and in a recent interview, he mused about it and the unfortunate implications behind how the public views the 2 actors differently. The Star Wars sequels are divisive, to say the least, but that shouldn’t affect how people treat the actors themselves, should it?
In an interview with The Times, Boyega spoke about the double standard that affected people like him with regards to openly criticizing projects they’d been involved with. He was baffled that people seemed to love Pattinson’s outspoken attacks on the Twilight movies but he himself suffered a lot of online bile from even the people who hated the Star Wars sequels. “I was kind of surprised that people were so like, ‘Bloody hell… [that Boyega was speaking out].’ I love Robert Pattinson but he gets to talk s*** about his films, why can’t I?”
Boyega offered plenty of justified criticisms on Disney and the Star Wars sequels, many of which dealt with internalized racism and how that affected the way characters were written. But when he came out about these issues, he was met with waves of toxicity from the fandom that, admittedly, really doesn’t take change well. Remember, this is the same group that called for Lucasfilm to make The Last Jedi non-canon because Luke Skywalker was kind of mean and Kelly Marie Tran committed the cardinal sin of existing.
Of course, that doesn’t excuse the behavior. Boyega’s comments were backed by years of experience and quickly validated by the immediate backlash at the very idea that racism is still a problem in the world. He called out injustices in Hollywood and Star Wars specifically, only to be met with tons of resistance. He also pointed a finger at Disney for their relative silence on such matters. “Disney don’t talk about things like that,” he said in the interview. “Unless it’s Scarlett Johansson and a lawsuit, I don’t think they open their mouth.”
It’s an unfortunate double standard where people like Pattinson get a pass while Boyega suffers attacks for basically doing the same thing. Hopefully, this doesn’t discourage him from speaking out and shining a light on injustices, because these are conversations worth having.