In case you missed my lengthy post about how Rey/Kylo shippers really don’t like John Boyega, I’m here to remind you of that fact by covering the sheer unsubtle nonsense that’s been going on in this fandom for the past twenty-four hours.
Yesterday, on Instagram, Sequel Trilogy leading actor John Boyega had the following exchange that blew up across the fandom.
Instagram user heyfabrice commented on (presumably, I don’t use Instagram) a photo John posted saying “My boy after realizing Kylo died so he can date Rey.”
John responded to the user by saying, “It’s not about who she kisses but who eventually lays the pipe. You are a genius.”
It’s a kinda crude sex joke that refers to the fact that Rey/Kylo may have gotten to kiss, but what matters is what comes next – the implication being sex.
Like my reading of it is that while it’s great that Kylo got a kiss before he faded away into the Force, who is it that’s wandering around being thicc and tender, already a holding a piece of Rey’s heart while having a viable and visible Force bond with her?
Regardless of how you feel about the comment (singular, he wasn’t going around talking about how he wanted Finn to slay Rey with his lightsaber or whatever on people’s comments), it then blew up beyond Instagram.
And the Rey/Kylo fans went off.
You had folks on Instagram accusing him of things like “reducing Rey to her holes” – which is interesting because reducing Rey to what goes in/comes out of her “holes” is kind of the norm in this fandom and from those shippers.
They @’d him on twitter saying how much he let them down, rallied around a catfishing account that showed up to “As a Black woman I’m disappointed in you” in his mentions, and continue to miss the point that this isn’t about their pale and pasty ship.
Except of course –
It kind of is.
John Boyega has been subject to racism from pretty much the majority of his time as Finn and from the majority of the fandom. That includes Rey/Kylo shippers who spent a stunning amount of time writing Finn off as the villain in “Ben’s” narrative, trying to dunk on John, and never quite figured out that they can just… not.
He has been dealing with Rey/Kylo shippers’ racism as a direct response to him/Finn being “in the way” of what the fans ship for like four years.
I know John is tired.
Tired of having people drop into his mentions across Instagram and call him names specifically because they think he needs to know that they feel that Black men are inferior and unworthy of love.
Tired of fans lying on him.
Tired of having to watch these people call him out his name, spread nonsense about his talent and work ethic, and make awful assumptions about his relationships with Daisy and other members of the cast…all over a ship they ship.
So, I’m guessing that once his contract with Lucasfilm/Disney ran out or he had no further obligations to these companies, he decided to do what a whole bunch of us have wanted to do across the years: let this fandom know how done he was.
First, they started @-ing him with woe-is-me, “you must hate women” comments in response to his Instagram comment, they accused him of objectifying Rey “Who is Basically Your Best Friend” Skywalker because John is jealous of Adam Driver, and snidely wished for him to be backlisted.
Then, once John retweeted a Megan Thee Stallion tweet that said, “I just don’t like y’all bitches and I’m not hiding it in 2020 bye” it was like the kid gloves came off. For him.
He then posted a tweet titled “Star Wars romance 😗👀🙂” with four images of Kylo and Rey:
- Rey in the torture chair with Kylo leaning over her
- Rey stabbing Kylo in their one fight
- Them fighting against a watery backdrop
- More fighting
You know, pushing back against the idea that Rey and Kylo have an oh-so-tender love across the three films in this part of the franchise.
Aside from the kiss-and-dissolve, the majority of their intimate moments are fight scenes. Which is fine if you personally view fighting as foreplay but the whiteness leaps out about a fandom that sees violence – including kidnapping and the threat of torture – as a precursor of romance, but clearly reciprocated affection between Finn and Rey as uncomfortable… for her and for them.
The amount of anger was… immense.
To be entirely fair, I primarily clocked comments that John replied to and that my friends/people I’m following then reposted or shared with me privately. I couldn’t bring myself to go through and read everything that folks were saying in his mentions because unpacking antiblackness is taxing work and there’s only so much I can take.
But it was vile.
It was antiblack.
And John kept clapping back at the fans who were very vocal and visible.
Fans that said things like “you’re still crushing on Daisy” or said he was jealous of Adam and… like… that whole thing where Sarah Sahim literally mused about how small John’s genitals had to be because of the steroids he must have been on for TROS.
Because that’s not disgustingly antiblack…
And Sarah’s antiblackness sets up what we really need to be covering quickly:
the reason why this is even a thing we’re talking about is because fandom is endlessly antiblack and this fandom in particular has a hate-on for John Boyega they hide behind claims they actually loved him the most across fandoms (until he stops being useful or easily ignored).
This is the second time in a month that Reylo fans have tried to take down John Boyega and, like with how they came for him over comments one of their own misrepresented to be a diss to Kelly Marie Tran, this is also about (kinda literal) White Knighting to protect innocent women from John Boyega.
Which is incredibly antiblack.
It’d be great if we could unpack his comment because not everyone’s a fan of crude humor, but the fandom trying to rewrite John as a beast objectifying his dear sweet friend Daisy and forcing innocent teenage girls to be uncomfortable in fandom…
John has been subject to untold amounts of criticism from the fandom – a fandom that we know swarms where it can and in the mentions of people critical of the ship, see what happened with DJ Older over on Twitter around Christmas – and you cannot pretend that antiblackness isn’t here.
You cannot look at a fandom with people slyly implying that he’s a sex-pest whose role was reduced to protect Daisy and say that there’s no antiblackness behind how bad this looks and how awfully they’re behaving.
Reylo as a fandom is made up of folks who see nothing wrong with literally viewing Rey through a lens of how she can make Kylo’s life better or easier with her magic vagina or whatever. It’s populated by people who made videos about how they were robbed by The Rise of Skywalker not providing them with quality softcore Reylo porn.
This is a fandom that makes some high key questionable comments about Rey’s role in the universe turning around and pretending that it is oppressed because John made a structurally similar comment to their usual fare and because he dunked on their shipping preferences.
And I see them saying that it’s solely about how strongly they feel about misogyny and not about the fact that John isn’t playing with them anymore. That he’s treating them the same way he treats other wastes of his time.
But that’s not true.
Like I don’t doubt that some of them may be taken aback by the crude comment, but the way they’re wilding out and pretty much trying to tank his public image and career to everyone they can? The way they’re saying they were the real Finn fans until he destroyed that for them? The “oh no Daisy had to work with that” and “John has to be x, y, and z” shit they’re pulling?
That is a performance.
And people need to stop attending.
At the end of the day, this isn’t actually about ships for me. This isn’t about ships for John. This is about the fact that these fans have literally come for him at every corner in various ways. That they’ve made fandom hell for pretty much anyone that doesn’t like it and dares to speak about it.
This is about endless antiblackness.
This is about the second time in a month that Rey/Kylo fans leapt for John’s throat for comments he made that they blew out of proportion –
And it’s about the first time John felt free enough to return what he was being given.
John’s comments may be crude, and you’re honestly allowed to feel however the hell you want about that.
But know that they weren’t made in a vacuum.
Know that the fans he’s reacting to and talking about have been awful to him for years.
Understand that the fandom’s behavior across the past four years – which often involves people dunking on him as a person and potential partner and insinuating that he’s a sex pest out of nowhere – has been endless.
Know that the outrage you’re seeing – from people who are primarily part of a fandom that’s been awful to and about John – is mainly manufactured as a form of weaponized (and largely white) womanhood in fandom.
They’re framing John as a threat to white womanhood as if that never went poorly for the Black male targets of white female nonsense over the years. They’re doing the most and claiming it’s the gosh darned least –
All truly over a ship between two characters in a movie that they wanted to see bang.
John Boyega ended 2019 with a hearty “Fuck You” to a part of fandom that I know has been horrifyingly antiblack to and about him from the moment they realized who was playing what in The Force Awakens.
You should think about what drives an actor to let it rip on his franchise’s fandom –
And how Reylo shippers’ antiblackness is a sign of toxic fandom at play here.