Michael B. Jordan is renaming his rum label following allegations of cultural appropriation.
The Black Panther star has responded to the backlash after he filed to trademark the word “J’Ouvert” — which is rooted in Caribbean and Trinbagonian culture — for his alcohol brand.
The term — which is derived from the French “jour ouvert,” which means daybreak or morning — marks the beginning of Carnival, and both the word and celebrations are associated with the emancipation of enslaved people.
Responding to criticism of the name, Jordan wrote on his Instagram Story: “I just wanna say on behalf of myself & my partners, our intention was never to offend or hurt a culture (we love & respect) & hoped to celebrate & shine a positive light on.
“Last few days has been a lot of listening. A lot of learning & engaging in countless community conversations…
“We hear you. I hear you & want to be clear that we are in renaming.
“We sincerely apologize & look forward to introducing a brand we can all be proud of.”
Earlier this week, Nicki Minaj addressed the controversy and shared a history lesson penned by another social media user about the term and its significance.
She added that while she was “sure” the 34-year-old actor wasn’t aware of the issues with the name, he should now consider changing the branding after people had brought it to his attention..
She wrote on Instagram: “I’m sure MBJ didn’t intentionally do anything he thought Caribbean ppl would find offensive – but now that you are aware, change the name & continue to flourish & prosper. #jouvert”
A Change.org petition had also been set up in an attempt to get the trademark filing dismissed.
Fans also took offense to a line in the filing which claimed “J’Ouvert” has “no meaning in any language.”