"Dismissively trading out one’s culture this way is not something I can condone"
John Boyega has resigned as global ambassador for Jo Malone after he was replaced by a Chinese actor Liu Haoran.
The perfume brand had shot an advert tailored personally to the Star Wars actor but re-shot it for the Chinese market.
Boyega’s advert London Gent was filmed in the UK’s capital showing him with his friends and family in his hometown of Peckham.
Jo Malone’s Chinese advert mirrored Boyega’s advert without his friends and family, replacing him with Haoran (Beijing Love Story).
“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,” Boyega tweeted.
“The film celebrated my personal story– showcasing my hometown, including my friends and featuring my family.”
Jo Malone has since removed the advert from its campaign and has apologized to Boyega.
“We deeply apologise for what, on our end, was a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign,” they Estee Lauder company said in a statement on Monday.
“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 recognise that this was painful and that offence 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.”
In 2018, Boyega was made smaller in posters of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in China.
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.
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) September 14, 2020