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John Boyega steps down as Jo Malone global brand ambassador over ad controversy

John Boyega steps down as Jo Malone global brand ambassador over ad controversy
John Boyega (Photo credit: Bang Media)

John Boyega has stepped down as Jo Malone’s global ambassador.

The 28-year-old actor has cut ties with the perfume brand after he was cut out of an ad in China and replaced by Liu Haoran after the ad was recast and reshot, despite conceiving, directing and starring in the original commercial.

In a series of tweets, Boyega said: “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.

“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.”

The original version — which was released last year — saw the movie star walking around Peckham, south London, riding a horse, and spending time with his family.

But after being remade for the Chinese market, the original ad’s multicultural cast was replaced, and it ultimately didn’t feature any Black cast members.

Jo Malone has now removed the local version of the campaign, and apologized for making a “mistake.”

In a statement, the company said: “We deeply apologize for what on our end was a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign.

“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.”

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