John Boyega has stepped down as global ambassador for Jo Malone after he was replaced by a Chinese actor in an ad he created for the perfume brand.
The ad, entitled “A London gent”, shows Boyega as he celebrates his upbringing in Peckham alongside his family and friends.
However, the ad was re-shot for the Chinese market with Boyega replaced by a Chinese actor as he embarks on similar adventures, including a distinct shot in which he rides a white horse alongside a group of bikes.
The Chinese version of the ad has been removed from Jo Malone’s campaign in China, and the Estée Lauder-owned company has apologised for what it has declared a “misstep”, in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
The statement said: "While we immediately took action and removed the local version of the campaign, we recognise that this was painful and that offence was caused.
"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."
However, Boyega took to Twitter to announce he would no longer be working with the perfume brand, shortly after becoming its first male ambassador last year.
I have decided to step down as Jo Malone's global ambassador. When I joined the brand as their first male global ambassador last year, I created the short film we used to launch the campaign. It won the Fragrance Foundation Virtual awards 2020 for Best Media Campaign.— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) September 14, 2020
In a Twitter thread, the actor said: “[Jo Malone’s] 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.
“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.
“It’s back to back but I assure you this will be dealt with swiftly. I don’t have time for nonsense.”
Boyega gained support from a list of big names in Hollywood – including JJ Abrams, Edgar Wright, Olivia Wilde and Charlie Brooker – after speaking at London’s Black Lives Matter protests in June, during which time he declared: “Look, I don’t know if I’m gonna have a career after this, but fuck that.”