No Malone: John Boyega Resigned From Jo Malone Ambassadorship
Just a few days after the fragrance brand apologized for reshooting his ad without him, he’s out. As he shared in a statement on Twitter, John Boyega resigned from Jo Malone. The actor is leaving his post as a brand representative.
Star Wars Star Was Brand’s Global Ambassador And First “Gent”
Last year, John Boyega (who was recently standing up to racism in Disney) became a face for your mom’s favorite perfume brand as its global ambassador. He was the brand’s first “gent,” joining Jo Malone London’s “Girls,” Karen Elson and Poppy Delevingne. To launch his campaign, Boyega created an ad, directing it as well as starring in it. As he told Women’s Wear Daily, “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.” He filled the ad with footage of him with family, friends, and colleagues.
The ad is not only moving, but it’s also a literal winner. As the brand announced only last month, the advertisement won Best Media Campaign from The Fragrance Foundation during their 2020 Virtual Awards. So the obvious thing to do would be to borrow the concept and reshoot it with someone with no personal ties to its story, right? Uh.
In a move that defies explanation, though, that’s exactly what Jo Malone did. For the Chinese market, they reshot the ad, excising Boyega, his friends and family. In Boyega’s place, they inserted Detective Chinatown star Liu Haoran. Boyega only became aware of the new ad when he saw it on Twitter.
So John Boyega Resigned From Jo Malone
Jo Malone London said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter this week that they “deeply apologize” for the snafu. They also added, in a sentence worthy of a cover story for No Duh Weekly, “The concept for the film was based on John’s personal experiences and should not have been replicated.” Nevertheless, it seems as if the damage done was too great. On his official Twitter account, John Boyega announced his resignation from his role as global ambassador.
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 the thread that follows, he also says, “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. As for the company, they took the announcement the only way they could at this point. They responded, also on Twitter, saying, “John Boyega is an incredible talent, artist and person and we were proud to have him as part of our Jo Malone London family. We respect John’s decision and we wish him all the best.”
What do you think? Tell us in the comments or on social media.
featured image via Jo Malone London
Salomé Gonstad is a freelance writer who grew up in the swampy wilds of south Alabama. When she's not yelling about pop culture on the internet, she's working on a supernatural thriller about her hometown. Also, we're pretty sure she's a werewolf. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.