“I don’t have time for nonsense.”
John Boyega announces his departure from Jo Malone London, the British perfume and scented candle company, after they substituted Chinese actor Liu Haoran for his role in a short film advertisement that aired in China. The Star Wars actor expressed his frustration in a slew of tweets claiming that their decision to replace his campaign in China by using his concepts without his consent nor prior notice was wrong.
Although Boyega addressed that it’s not unusual for a campaign to “use a variety of global and local ambassadors”, he continued his Twitter thread by writing that “dismissively trading out one’s culture this way is not something I can condone.” The 28-year-old British-Nigerian was the first male global ambassador for Jo Malone London. His short film advertisement won the Fragrance Foundation Virtual awards in 2020 for Best Media Campaign.
In 2019, Boyega opened up to Women’s Wear Daily and explained that the commercial is “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. It’s not a chapter that stops.” The actor also shared that the fragrance advertisement featured his real-life family and friends.
The London native has never shied away from celebrating his Blackness and has been a leading voice amongst celebrities in the Black Lives Matter movement. After George Floyd was killed at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, Boyega delivered a powerful speech to a group of protestors.
“Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important,” he said through tears. “We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time.”
The fragrance company has since issued an apology to Boyega in a statement released to The Hollywood Reporter stating that they “…deeply apologize for what, on our end, was a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign,” said Jo Malone London. “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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