Star Wars actor, John Boyega, has stepped down as brand ambassador of perfume brand, Jo Malone, after he was cut out of the Chinese version of the brand’s campaign which he originally conceived and starred in.
The British-Nigerian actor, who announced this on Twitter on Tuesday, said he had no prior knowledge of the “reshoot” until the video was publicised.
Explaining the reason behind his decision in a series of tweets, the award-winning actor said the company’s decision to leave him out of the ad, despite using his concepts, was “wrong”.
“The film celebrated my personal story- showcasing my hometown, including my friends and featuring my family.
“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”.
A similar development occurred in 2015 when images of the celebrated actor and that of his co-star, Oscar Isaac, was removed from the ” Star Wars: The Force Awakens” poster in China.
Boyega continued, “While many brands understandably use a variety of global and local ambassadors, dismissively trading out one’s culture this way is not something I can condone.
“It’s back to back but I assure you this will be dealt with swiftly. I don’t have time for nonsense. We press on and are strong. Stay blessed people.”
The brand accepted Boyega’s decision to step down from his role as their ambassador saying, “John Boyega is an incredible talent, artist and person and we were proud to have him as part of our Jo Malone London family. We respect John’s decision and we wish him all the best”.
They have also tendered an apology to the actor in a statement sent to The Hollywood Reporter published Tuesday.
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“We deeply apologize for what, on our end, was a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign,” the statement began.
“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,” the statement added. “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.”
Check out both concepts below
Crazy racism from Jo Malone. Not only did they replace @JohnBoyega, they ripped off his creative ideas and reshot his original film virtually shot-for-shot for the Chinese market.
Edit: Original left – Racist right. pic.twitter.com/AgHd9B4q7E
– Phantom Power (@PhantomPower14) September 14, 2020