John Boyega resigns from ‘Jo Malone’ ambassador role over Chinese ad

John Boyega
John Boyega said the original advert “celebrated my personal story”

John Boyega has resigned as global ambassador for perfume brand Jo Malone after he was replaced in an ad he made for them by a Chinese actor.

The Star Wars actor made the personal video in his home town of London, but it was re-shot for the Chinese market.

The company apologized for what it described as a “misstep” that caused “offence”.

However, Boyega has said Jo Malone was “wrong” to have used another actor “without my consent or prior notice”.

Writing on Twitter, the British star said while he accepted that companies would use different representatives around the world, “dismissively trading out one’s culture this way is not something I can condone”.

“The film celebrated my personal story – showcasing my hometown, including my friends and featuring my family,” he added.

“It’s back to back but I assure you this will be dealt with swiftly. I don’t have time for nonsense. We press on and strong. Stay blessed people.”

The recreated advert largely followed the same script, but featured Chinese star Liu Haoran instead of Boyega.

The original version, titled London Gent, showed Boyega hanging out with friends and family in Peckham, where he grew up. They were also removed for Chinese audiences.

Spot the difference: John Boyega advert and the Chinese version

Jo Malone, owned by Estee Lauder, has since removed the advert from its campaign in China.

“We deeply apologize for what, on our end, was a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign,” they said in statement on Monday.

In a statement to The Hollywood report, Jo Malone London 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.

“While we immediately took action and removed the local version of the campaign, we recognize that this was painful and that offence was caused,” it 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.”

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

There was controversy back in 2016 when Disney unveiled a re-versioned movie poster for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in China.

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