British perfume brand Jo Malone issued an apology to Star Wars actor John Boyega for cutting him out of a video based on his personal experience that he made for the company.
Without notifying Boyega, Jo Malone reshot the ad by replacing the actor with Liu Haoran for the Chinese market and excluded all the Black people who appeared in the original video that Boyega conceived and directed.
This incident adds to a previous controversy in which Boyega’s image was altered in Chinese posters for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015.
“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,” Jo Malone London told The Hollywood Reporter.
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“While we immediately took action and removed the local version of the campaign, we recognize that this was painful and that offense 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,” the statement continued.
In the original video, Boyega is seen in his London neighborhood and hanging out with his racially diverse friends and his family members.
Here’s the original video.
In the controversial Chinese version of the Star Wars poster, the size of Boyega’s character is significantly smaller compared to the original poster. Other non-white characters were altogether removed.