British Fragrance Company Apologizes To John Boyega For Replacing Him With An Asian Actor In An Ad He Created

by Duke Magazine

A fragrance company had publicly gave a deserved apology to British actor, John Boyega, following being edited out of a commercial he curated, directed, and starred in. 

Jo Malone London, a British perfume and scented candle brand, named Boyega as its first male global ambassador in 2019. However, the company apologized to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens star after the commercial he created for the brand was redone for the Chinese market replacing him with a Chinese actor. The original commercial, titled “London Gent,” featured Boyega walking around London’s Peckham neighborhood and featured a multicultural cast. The commercial won The Fragrance Foundation Virtual Awards 2020 for Best Media Campaign.

The Chinese version of the commercial replaced Boyega with local actor Liu Haoran and didn’t feature a multicultural cast.

“We deeply apologize for what, on our end, was a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign,” Jo Malone said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “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,” the statement 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.”

Moreover, Boyega told has described the inspiration behind the campaign as an highlight to his background. 

“There’s a mixture of things you see me do in the film, you see me in a professional environment on a film set, then with family and it’s about breaking free of the concept of ‘going back or returning to your roots’ but more about the roots existing with this new side of my life,” he said. “It’s not a chapter that stops.”

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