Black actor John Boyega has resigned from his role as global ambassador for perfume brand Jo Malone after the company decided to hire a Chinese actor to replace him in an advertisement he created
LONDON – Black actor John Boyega has stepped down from his role as global ambassador for fragrance brand Jo Malone after the company decided to hire a Chinese actor to replace him in an advertisement he created.
The Star Wars star wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that the brand’s decision to replace my campaign in China using my concepts and substituting for me a local brand ambassador, without my consent or notice, was wrong.
Jo Malone, an upscale British fragrance brand owned by Este Lauder, said replacing Boyega with Chinese star Liu Haoran in the ad campaign was a misstep. He deleted the ad and apologized.
The original ad starring Boyega, 28, aired last year and was called The London Gent. It features the London-born actor walking around the neighborhood where he grew up and riding a horse in a park, and he references his Nigerian heritage in a scene featuring West African clothing.
The film celebrated my personal story starring my hometown, including my friends and starring my family, Boyega wrote. While many brands naturally use a variety of global and local ambassadors, dismissively exchanging their culture in this way is not something I can tolerate.
This is not the first time that Boyega has been removed from a China-based ad. He played a leading role as Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015, but he and other non-white characters were either removed or reduced from a Chinese poster for the film.
Boyega recently told GQ that black characters were cast aside in the Disneys Star Wars franchise. In June, the star gave a touching speech on racism when he joined the Black Lives Matter protests in London.
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