John Boyega announced that he will no longer be associated with the British cologne company. The actor was cut out of the Chinese version of a commercial for Jo Malone that he originally conceived, directed and starred in.
“I have decided to step down as Jo Malone’s global ambassador. When I joined the brand as their first male global ambassador last year, I created the short film we used to launch the campaign. It won the Fragrance Foundation Virtual awards 2020 for Best Media Campaign,’ he tweeted. “Their decision to replace my campaign in China by using my concepts and substituting a local brand ambassador for me, without either my consent or prior notice, was wrong. The film celebrated by personal story — showcasing my hometown, including my friends and featuring my family,” Boyega added.
The commercial titled, A London Gent, showed the Star Wars actor walking around in the London neighborhood where we originally grew up; it casted a predominantly Black cast.
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The new ad that Jo Malone released in China erased any reference to Boyega, while also choosing not to feature any of its Black people.
The brand issued an apology once the news broke, stating, “We deeply apologize for what, on our end, was a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign.
John is a tremendous artist with great personal vision and direction. The concept for the film was based on John’s personal experiences and should not have been replicated. While we immediately took action and removed the local version of the campaign, we recognize that this was painful and that offense was caused. We respect John, and support our partners and fans globally. We are taking this misstep very seriously and we are working together as a brand to do better moving forward.”