John Boyega Severs Ties With Jo Malone Perfume After Ad Controversy
By Zach Seemayer
Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images
John Boyega has decided to end his involvement with Jo Malone London perfume. The decision comes after the Star Wars actor was replaced in an advertisement for the brand that aired in China.
The award-winning commercial, "London Gent," was conceived of, directed by and starred Boyega, as well as a diverse and multicultural cast. However, for Chinese markets, the ad was reshot with local actor Liu Haoran, and Boyega was not informed of the decision to recast and reshoot the ad, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Boyega, 28, took to Twitter on Monday to announce that he would no longer be working with Jo Malone London because of their actions.
"I have decided to step down as Jo Malone's global ambassador," Boyega wrote, in a series of posts. "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," he continued. "The film celebrated my personal story– showcasing my hometown, including my friends and featuring my family."
Boyega explained that he understands many brands "use a variety of global and local ambassadors" in their targeted advertising, but added, "Dismissively trading out one’s culture this way is not something I can condone."
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.
In response, Jo Malone London released a statement apologizing to Boyega for their decision to reshoot his ad.
"We deeply apologize for what, on our end, was a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign," Jo Malone London expressed in a statement released to The Hollywood Reporteron Saturday. "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," it 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."
The company also added that Haoran, who was cast for the reshot commercial, was not involved in "concepting" the recreated campaign.
The original ad, which featured Boyega walking around his home town of Peckham, in South London, was honored as the Best Media Campaign at this year's Fragrance Foundation Awards in August.