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Candice Patton Shares Support for John Boyega After He Called Out Racism in His Star Wars Experience

Candice Patton

The response to John Boyega’s powerful GQ interview has been mostly positive, with some people missing the point out of a choice to remain obtuse. What’s more, Boyega’s comments have been shown to ring true with other Black entertainers in the public eye, one of them being The CW’s The Flash‘s Candice Patton.

When Ms. Patton eventually gets to share everything she has been feeling, I don’t think the world will be ready for that, but regardless, just from what we know and have seen of her experience working on the CW series, it’s not shocking that she related to Boyega’s statement about having a specific experience based upon her race. With Patton, the misogynoir (the specific hatred, dislike, distrust, and prejudice directed toward Black women) was strong from the beginning, and it was never replicated with Black male characters like Joe West (played by Jesse L. Martin) or Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale), where the latter was mostly judged for not having a similar enough personality to the comic book version of Wally. That is not to say they never faced anti-Black criticism, but it was not to the degree of what Patton has faced, nor has it been as long-lasting.

Another celebrity who commented was Ray Fisher, best known for playing Cyborg in Justice League, who has been outspoken in his own right about the treatment he faced during the filming of the movie, specifically under director Joss Whedon and other players at the studio.

For years, the entertainment industry has been content to throw BIPOC actors into projects, on the posters, give them top billing, but not give them the support or narrative focus they deserve. It has taken years for Candice Patton’s Iris West-Allen to be given storylines that focus on her, without Barry Allen, despite being the female lead. John Boyega’s face lit up by the blue lightsaber he held hinted at a storyline that never came, and in subsequent movies, his potential as Jedi was never taken advantage of.

Anna Diop’s work on DC Universe’s Titans saw her put through the wringer as she dealt with horrible backlash just for being a Black Starfire, but ended up being the best part of the series, only to have no attention (along with their race-bent Asian Beast Boy) in the second season—profiting and getting clickbait pieces off of diverse casting, but always sidelining them in the end.

We have seen so many Black actors share these experiences, and it should be a sign to everyone that this is not an individual experience. This is not just one fandom. This is institutional racism 101, and it is not going away if we can’t call it out by name.

(image: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.