News 13 September 2020

Jo Malone apologise to John Boyega for cutting him & other black actors out of their advert

13 September 2020

Global brand Jo Malone has apologised to John Boyega after erasing him from a Chinese version of their advert.

The original advert called London Gent was directed by and starred John Boyega and was set in his home neighbourhood of South London’s Peckham.

London Gent sees the celebrated actor surrounded by large groups across several different locations. Notably, the other actors featured are ethnically diverse – with large groups of black actors and other ethnic minorities rejoicing together.

In this new version though, John Boyega is cut from all of the scenes, as is the inclusion of any other black actor.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Boyega was only made aware of this after seeing the film on Twitter.

In a statement, Jo Malone said, “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 added, “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.”

Talking about the campaign prior to its release last year, Boyega said, “There’s a mixture of things you see me do in the film, you see me in a professional environment on a film set, then with family and it’s about breaking free of the concept of ‘going back or returning to your roots’ but more about the roots existing with this new side of my life. It’s not a chapter that stops.”

This news of course comes shortly after John Boyega bravely talked about his experience starring in the Star Wars films.

He told GQ, “I’m the only cast member whose experience of Star Wars was based on their race.”