John Boyega: Perfume brand Jo Malone 'deeply apologises' over ad cut

Carla Harmon
September 15, 2020

Jo Malone London recently released a version of the commercial for the Chinese market, but re-shot it without Boyega, casting popular local star Liu Haoran in his place.

Boyega continued: "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".

Jo Malone issued a statement in response to Boyega's decision on Twitter, writing: "John Boyega is an incredible talent, artist and person and we were proud to have him as part of our Jo Malone London family. The film celebrated by personal story - showcasing my hometown, including my friends and featuring my family", Boyega wrote.

It also featured a predominantly Black cast.

The original version of the ad, titled London Gent, was released past year (18), and featured John with family and friends in his hometown of Peckham, south London - including scenes in which he danced with pals and rode a horse.

It's not the first time Boyega has fallen foul of editing for the Chinese market.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor only found out what had happened when the reshot advert was posted on Twitter. "It's not good. I'll say it straight up", said Boyega.

The company says it has removed the local version of the campaign and also apologised to Haoran who wasn't involved in the conception of the ad.

"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 added: 'We respect John, and support our partners and fans globally. It feels deeply personal to Boyega's experience and features the London-born actor walking around the district where he grew up and riding a horse in a park. Indeed, Boyega previously faced a similar situation in 2016, when Disney chose to shrink the size of his character, Finn, in the poster for The Force Awakens in China.

The actor was also very outspoken on social media after George Floyd was killed in the U.S., and was seen protesting in London.

Referring to a social media campaign to boycott the films because of his casting, he said: 'I'm the only cast member who had their own unique experience of that franchise based on their makes you angry with a process like that'.

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