When the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens debuted in October, racist critics were outraged by black actor John Boyega's portrayal of a Stormtrooper. During a Howard Stern Show interview on Monday, the film's director J.J. Abrams dismissed naysayers.
"Why couldn't there be a black Stormtrooper? I don't understand," Stern said during the interview.
"Neither did I," responded Abrams.
After the release of The Force Awakens trailer, #BoycottStarWarsVII trended on Twitter, with some critics calling Boyega's casting an act of "white genocide."
"All I know is that John Boyega is extraordinary in the movie," Abrams told Stern.
Stern asked, "But why are so many people complaining about this?" His co-host Robin Quivers added, "Where do the Stormtroopers come from that they can't be black?"
“I think that the people who are complaining about that probably have bigger problems than there’s a black Stormtrooper,” Abrams answered.
Abrams has been busy with interviews to promote The Force Awakens, and recently revealed the first word spoken in the film to Jimmy Kimmel.