British perfume brand Jo Malone London has apologized to John Boyega for dropping an advertisement he had done for them and replacing him with a Chinese actor.
Boyega was named the company’s first global ambassador last year.
The company remade the personal video of the Star Wars actor in his hometown of London for the Chinese market.
“We deeply apologize for what, on our side, was a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign,” they said in a statement.
Boyega’s sister Grace posted the Chinese version of the announcement in a Twitter response.
Jo Malone London, owned by Estee Lauder, said the re-shoot of the ad was a “misstep”, “painful” and caused “offense”.
While the storyline for the aftershave ad – which was originally conceived and directed by the British star – has largely remained the same, it has seen it replaced by another actor, Liu Haoran.
The original version, titled London Gent, showed Boyega hanging out with his friends and family in Peckham, where he grew up, but they were also removed from the Chinese public.
‘Take this misstep very seriously’
In a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Jo Malone London said, “John is a great artist with great personal vision and direction. The concept of the film was based on John’s personal experiences and should not have been reproduced.
“As we immediately acted and removed the local version of the campaign, we recognize that it was painful and that this offense was caused,” he added.
“We respect John and support our partners and fans around the world. We take this misstep very seriously and work together as a brand to move forward. ”
John Boyega and Jo Malone London have both been contacted by the BBC for comment.
Jo Malone sold her business to Estee Lauder in 1995 and remained Artistic Director until she left in 2006. She now owns Jo Loves.
This is not the first time that Boyega has fallen under assembly for the Chinese market.
There was controversy in 2016 when Disney unveiled a revamped movie poster for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in China.
Boyega’s new main character Finn has been reduced in size from the original poster.
Earlier this month, the star called for an end to black actors “pushed to the side” by movie companies.
Writers, actors and directors; including JK Rowling and Jordan Peele, also praised the 28-year-old for his touching speech at a Black Lives Matter event this summer.
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