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John Boyega Quits As Brand's Ambassador After His Ad Is Completely Remade For Chinese Market Without His Knowledge

John Boyega Quits As Brand's Ambassador After His Ad Is Completely Remade For Chinese Market Without His Knowledge
Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

John Boyega has resigned as the Brand Ambassador for Jo Malone, a perfume brand, after he was replaced in an ad for the Chinese market.

The actor, best known for the films Attack the Block and the Star Wars sequel trilogy, was furious at the change, especially since the concept was developed by Boyega and was personal to his experience.

You can see the original ad below.

Boyega made the announcement about his departure in a series of tweets.

The ad in question was conceived and directed by Boyega.

In it, he remembers and celebrates his hometown of Peckham and even features his real life family and friends. However, when the ad was modified for China, it was recreated using Boyega's original concept with Chinese actor Liu Haoran.

The format remained the same but removed any reference to Boyega, or any Black people in general. All this was done without first consulting Boyega.

And it's not like they can declare it a misunderstanding—it's incredibly blatant.

Boyega's actions had an immediate effect, as parent company Estée Lauder pulled the campaign from China very quickly.

A spokesperson for Jo Malone assured the public they are taking this very seriously.

They told The Hollywood Reporter:

"We deeply apologize for what, on our end, was a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign. 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."

They also apologized to Haoran, who was unaware of the genesis of his ad.

This isn't the first time Boyega has been the subject of racism in advertisement. In 2015, Chinese posters for Star Wars: The Force Awakens were edited to reduce the prominence of the actor, as well as entirely remove other non-white actors.

You'd think with that history, ad companies would be more careful.

While people online continue to call out Jo Malone for their actions, we can hope this serves as a reminder they won't soon forget.

We'll watch with interest what Boyega chooses to do next.