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John Boyega Steps Down As Jo Malone’s Brand Ambassador After The Company Replaced Him In An Ad Based On His Personal Experiences

Star Wars star John Boyega has revealed that he is stepping down from his role as brand ambassador for British perfume and candle company Jo Malone after the brand replaced him in a video that he created and directed with actor Liu Haoran for their Chinese market.

“I have decided to step down as Jo Malone’s global ambassador,” the Star Wars actor shared on Twitter Monday. “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.”

Jo Malone issued an apology on Saturday for taking Boyega’s ad, calling the reshoot “a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign.” The brand added, “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.”

Jo Malone went on to say that “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.” The original video featured Boyega’s family members and his childhood neighborhood in London, Peckham. However, the reworked ad didn’t feature any Black individuals.

“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,” Boyega said before adding, “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 strong. Stay blessed, people.”

In 2015, Boyega was dealt another racist blow when a Chinese movie poster for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” drastically shrunk Boyega’s image compared to the American actors on the poster.

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