John Boyega has the most glass-half-full way of dealing with critics.

John Boyega wants to hear your criticism loud and clear.

No, really.

Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF.


In a recent interview with Mashable, the 26-year-old "Star Wars" actor explained how he turns lemons into lemonade after spotting criticism directed at him on Facebook and Twitter.

"I feel like for me to get any type of criticism, I would have had to work to a certain point," he said, smiling. "I would have had to gain success for someone to say 'I didn't like 'Star Wars.'"

He continued:

"What I fixate on is 'Wait a second. Wait. I'm in 'Star Wars'? I think it's brilliant! These are the comments that every actor should hope to get. It means you're doing well. You're doing something."

Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studio.

^ A live look at Boyega laughing off the haters. 😂

Boyega doesn't welcome all criticism with open arms, though. And for good reason.

Amid the buzz over 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," a certain segment of the sci-fi series' fans — (cough, cough) the racists — were upset that Boyega was cast as a Stormtrooper.

Stormtroopers apparently shouldn't be black.

Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney.

To those critics, Boyega said, "Get used to it."

"I’m in the movie, what are you going to do about it?" the actor told V Magazine. "You either enjoy it or you don’t. I’m not saying get used to the future, but what is already happening. People of color and women are increasingly being shown on-screen."

Boyega's new comments on criticism is something we can all keep in mind.

We may not all be movie stars, but most of us have our critics.

Someone isn't a fan of your artwork in the new exhibit? You were talented enough to get it featured. A hater pokes fun at you for finishing last in the 5K? You put in the work to cross that finish line.

Do as Boyega does, and let the trolls remind you to pat yourself on the back.

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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

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Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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