John Boyega Doesn’t Have Time for Nonsense, Steps Down After Ad Erasure
Get your money, Black man.
Actor John Boyega is stepping down as brand ambassador for the perfume brand Jo Malone, following their decision to replace him in a Chinese version of the ad campaign while using all the concepts of his original piece.
Controversy arose when it was revealed that Jo Malone basically took the commercial that Boyega filmed, swapped out the entire thing, and replaced him with Chinese actor Liu Haoran. While companies obviously use different ambassadors for different markets, the issue is that the new commercial was a shot-for-shot copy, using Boyega’s ideas and imagery without his knowledge or consent.
“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,” wrote Boyega in a tweet. “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.”
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
In response to this, Jo Malone London released a statement via The Hollywood Reporter, calling their actions a “mistake.”
“We deeply apologize for what, on our end, was a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign,” the statement said. “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.”
The statement continued to clarify what actions were being taken to correct the situation: “While we immediately took action and removed the local version of the campaign, we recognize that this was painful and that offense was caused. 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.”
The fact that they decided to do a shot-for-shot version of the video without even consulting Boyega just speaks volumes to how they really see him as a creative person. How difficult would it have been to just send an email? Clearly, they know he has the talent to create something good for them, but it was easier to just take.
Thankfully, Boyega has the ability to speak out and isn’t thirstier for a brand deal than his own morals, but maybe this will be a sign to others that if you see a Black artist creating something you like and want them to do more of it for you … just ask them and pay them.
(via CNN, image: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)
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