'No time for nonsense': John Boyega drops Jo Malone over Chinese ad

Perfume brand under fire for replacing actor in advert he created for them

15 September 2020 - 18:29 By Khanyisile Ngcobo
'Star Wars' actor John Boyega.
'Star Wars' actor John Boyega.
Image: Mike Marsland/WireImage via Getty Images

Star Wars actor John Boyega has stepped down as an ambassador for perfume brand Jo Malone after the company replaced him in an ad for their Chinese market without his consent or prior notice.

The drama unfolded on Tuesday morning when the outspoken actor confirmed he would quit the role of global ambassador for Jo Malone after he was replaced by a Chinese model in an ad he created for them.

The original ad, which won the 2020 Fragrance Foundation Award for Best Media Campaign, features Boyega sitting on a couch thinking, before switching to the actor taking a stroll around his hometown of Peckham, London, and hanging out with friends and family members. The advert is titled London Gent.

In the re-shot ad, a Chinese actor can be seen doing similar things Boyega does in the original clip, with all references to Boyega removed.

Boyega took to Twitter to say that the company'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”.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jo Malone has since apologised to Boyega and the Chinese actor who replaced him for the “misstep” that caused “offence”.

Fans have since taken to social media to condemn Jo Malone for the move — especially in light of the treatment black people have reportedly been subjected to in China. See some of the reactions here: