John Boyega was removed from an advert that he helped create alongside the perfume company Jo Malone.
Originally the advert had John Boyega walk through Peckham to promote the fragrance “London Gent.” However, the Chinese market saw a radically different trailer which not only removed Boyega in favour of Chinese actor Liu Haoran, but also featured no black individuals. The perfume and company have now apologised to the actor.
The company stated:
“We deeply apologize for what, on our end, was a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign.”
“While we immediately took action and removed the local version of the campaign, we recognize that this was painful and that offence was caused,” before adding “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.”
Many people have been disappointed in the fact that the company saw this as appropriate to begin with and as a result, many are questioning the integrity of the apology.
John Boyega was the first male global ambassador for the brand and with that in mind, it is perplexing that the work of the actor would be copied while erasing racial diversity in the advert. The actor was not informed about these changes and The Hollywood Reporter claim that the actor found out about the commercial through Twitter.
This is not the first time that Boyega has been omitted from Chinese marketing campaigns and the actor was also removed from Star Wars promotions because of his race.
Many will hope that the global ambassador for the brand will get an explanation for the “misstep” but equally, it seems that the damage of the campaign has already been done.
Boyega has yet to comment on the situation but has retweeted some of the outrage.