Boycotting #BoycottStarWarsVII

The dark side doesn’t refer to skin color.

A social media campaign was started yesterday to protest the highly anticipated science-fiction film Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The movement is called #BoycottStarWarsVII, and it’s campaigning against the film for being “anti-white” by casting a black actor in the film — British actor John Boyega.

They must have forgotten that Darth Vader was voiced by actor James Earl Jones in the original trilogy.

And that Billy Dee Williams portrayed Lando Calrissian in The Empire Strikes Back.

And that Samuel L. Jackson was a Jedi knight with his own awesome purple lightsaber in episodes one through three.

I cannot look at this campaign and honestly believe that this was a serious effort to start some controversy about Star Wars. The whole thing reeks of a conspiracy spawned from the Internet hell called 4Chan.

Regardless of its authenticity, #BoycottStarWarsVII is bringing up a serious ongoing issue in modern-day Hollywood: politicizing our entertainment.

In 2013, back when it was announced that director J.J. Abrams was on board for this project, he made it clear that he wanted a racially diverse cast for the film after attending a few Emmy awards television ceremonies and seeing they were completely whitewashed.

“It’s just unbelievably white,” Abrams said. “I just thought, ‘We’re casting this show, and we have an opportunity to do whatever we want. Why not cast the show with actors of color?’ ”

My question is this: Why should race even be a factor in the first place?

James Earl Jones wasn’t cast as the voice of Darth Vader because he was black. He was cast because he had a deep, imposing voice that perfectly fit the role. Williams wasn’t cast because he was black. He was cast because he had charisma that mixed well with Harrison Ford’s Han Solo. Jackson wasn’t cast because he was black. He was cast because he’s a certified badass.

None of these actors were put into their roles because of their race. They were put there because of their talent. Why should we put down Boyega by questioning him about either?

Movies are supposed to bring us together as a people, not tear us apart. Let’s boycott the stupidity of #BoycottStarWarsVII by going to the movie theater together Dec. 18.

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