John Boyega has stepped down from his role as a global ambassador for British perfume and scented candle brand Jo Malone London after they replaced him in commercial.
In a series of tweets, he wrote in part, "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. 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 my personal story– showcasing my hometown, including my friends and featuring my family. 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."
Over the weekend Jo Malone London issued an apology to John Boyega for taking a personal video that was made for them and reshooting it with a Chinese actor.
The Attack The Block actor only found out about the reshoot when the video appeared on Twitter. The ad replaced Boyega with Detective Chinatown franchise actor Liu Hoaran.
"We deeply apologize for what, on our end, was a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign," Jo Malone London said in a statement sent to The Hollywood Reporter. "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."
The original ad, titled London Gent, depicted Boyega strolling through the streets of his hometown of Pechman, London. The original ad also showcases Boyega - who developed the concept and directed the ad - interacting with friends and family members.
The reshot Chinese ad sees Haoran hanging out with friends. Both ads also depict Boyega and Haoran riding atop horses in a local park. But the Chinese ad doesn't feature a single Black person in the ad, whereas Boyega's ad showcases people of all races and ethnicities.
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