John Boyega attends the EE British Academy Film Awards 2020 After Party

[UPDATED] What’s Going on With John Boyega Losing His Twitter Verification?

I hope Boyega is okay!
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UPDATE: Since publication, Boyega’s verification on Twitter has been restored. The article below remains as originally published. 

John Boyega is someone who has used his platform and voice to call out racism in Hollywood and beyond, push back on those racist “fans” who scream at him on social media, and to stand up for what he believes in. Last summer, during the Black Lives Matter movement happening around the world, Boyega stood up and proudly said that he didn’t care what his vocality did to his career because he wasn’t going to be silent. It was a moment when fans worldwide applauded the actions of an actor we love and vowed to support his career and work.

We don’t know exactly what is happening, but earlier this month, it appears that Boyega abruptly departed the Netflix film Rebel Ridge. The Hollywood Reporter released a piece yesterday citing sources that made it seem as if Boyega left the production without telling anyone involved. This felt a lot like it was manufactured to make Boyega look bad, with a “hit piece” feeling as “several insiders … say the star had myriad issues ranging from the script to his accommodations.” It’s hard not to think Boyega is being cast in this light on purpose, given how outspoken he’s been about racism and Hollywood, and how the powerful in Hollywood tend to smear people who take a stand as “difficult.” Often with well-placed articles in publications that rely on them for information.

Boyega’s agent and team have since contested the story, and IndieWire reported that Boyega’s agent Femi Oguns told THR: “I can categorically say that these rumors are completely untrue. People will form their opinions often rooted from boredom. As stated John unfortunately left due to family reasons which in truth is none of anyone’s business except his own. John and Netflix have a wonderful relation which will continue to grow for years to come whether that be through his acting or through [Boyega’s production company] UpperRoom.”

From there, though, events got even more confusing, as many people on social media noticed that Boyega’s Twitter account is no longer verified. (There have been claims that Boyega’s tweets were deleted up until November 2020 but, to my knowledge, Boyega has not tweeted in the last seven months.)

So while there is the Rebel Ridge story swirling, many of us are now concerned over Boyega’s wellbeing. Why was his Twitter unverified? Was this a request from Boyega himself, or is this a move by Twitter, and if so, why? Boyega is an internationally known movie star and public figure with more than 2 million followers. Unless the request came from him or his team, it’s unfathomable that Twitter would have any reason to unverify him.

Tweets began to pour in, hoping for Boyega’s wellbeing while also pointing out that this is exactly the kind of thing that Boyega was talking about in his speech from last year.

I hope that John Boyega is doing well and is taking some time for himself and his family, as his agent stated. I hope that this isn’t something other than Boyega protecting himself and his mental health, but I also don’t trust Hollywood, especially the “sources” behind that THR piece. We’ll keep an eye on this story for further updates and any clarification on the Twitter matter. One thing remains clear: John Boyega should have our support right now.

(image: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her current obsession is Glen Powell's dog, Brisket. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.