John Boyega has stepped down from his role with perfume brand Jo Malone after the company cut him from the Chinese version of an aftershave advert he helped create.
The Star Wars actor said the decision to remove him from the advert was “wrong”, before writing on Twitter that “dismissively trading out one’s culture this way is not something I can condone”.
“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,” Boyega said.
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. The film celebrated my personal story– showcasing my hometown, including my friends and featuring my family.— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) September 14, 2020
“The film celebrated my personal story- showcasing my hometown, including my friends and featuring my family.
“While many brands understandably use a variety of global and local ambassadors, dismissively trading out one’s culture this way is not something I can condone.”
The London-born actor, who was a global ambassador at Jo Malone, 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.”
Jo Malone had earlier apologised after removing Boyega from the advert after he was replaced with Chinese star Liu Haoran.
Boyega has been praised recently for speaking out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement following the killing of George Floyd while in police custody in the US.
In June, the 28-year-old stood with protesters in London and delivered an emotional speech in Hyde Park, saying he did not care if speaking out harmed his career.
Figures from across Hollywood were quick to publicly support Boyega, who earlier this month accused Disney of marketing his character in Star Wars as an important figure before pushing him aside.
Speaking to British GQ, Boyega said Disney had given more “nuance” to his co-stars and suggested the company did not know how to treat him as a black actor.
It is not the first time that Boyega has been deleted from a China-based ad.
In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he played the leading role of Finn – but despite that, Chinese posters promoting the movie removed or diminished him and other non-white characters.
Jo Malone’s parent company Estee Lauder has been contacted for comment.
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