Jo Malone said she felt “humiliated” after the perfume brand she founded made the “contemptible and disgusting” decision to cut John Boyega out of a Chinese advertisement.
The Star Wars actor stepped down from his role as global ambassador for Jo Malone London after the company cut the black actor out of the Chinese version of an aftershave commercial he helped create.
Jo Malone has now distanced himself from the brand, which is now owned by Estee Lauder, claiming that she sold it in 1999 and left the brand entirely in 2006.
The 56-year-old said she was left “to deal with the mess”, following huge criticism following Boyega’s withdrawal.
Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine today, she said: “It was done on my behalf, but people also think it’s me. The brand I launched in this kitchen sink didn’t has nothing to do with my mind and my personality and today I would say she has nothing to do with me. ‘
The entrepreneur and cancer survivor explained how the backlash had affected her, saying, “I didn’t sell my dreams and aspirations and I didn’t fight to have my life sit here and live on this. way
“I will fight, I have fought many times in my life, for my life, and I will fight for that, for my reputation and everything I believe in.”
“I feel totally alone, first of all, I haven’t contacted more than three people, I feel so humbled.”
Jo Malone London apologized to John Boyega, pictured at a BLM protest in London in June, for removing it from an advertisement when it was remade for the Chinese market
Boyega, 28, said the fragrance company’s decision was “wrong,” writing on Twitter that while he was okay with companies using different representatives around the world, “scornfully exchanging his culture in this way doesn’t is not something that I can tolerate “.
Jo Malone London had previously apologized after removing Boyega, best known for playing Finn in the Star Wars films, from the ad, which has since been removed.
In a statement announcing that he was stepping down from his role as Ambassador, Boyega said, “Their decision to replace my campaign in China using my concepts and substituting for me a local Brand Ambassador, without my consent or notice, was The film celebrated my personal story, showcasing my hometown, friends and family.
“While many brands rightfully use a variety of global and local ambassadors, contemptuously exchanging culture in this way is not something I can tolerate. ”
The British star came up with the idea for the original commercial, which shows him spending time with his friends and family where he grew up in Peckham, south London.
Jo Malone distanced herself from the brand she founded, saying she was “humiliated” by her decision to remove John Boyega from a Chinese ad
The Star Wars actor, 28, said the fragrance company’s decision was “wrong,” writing on Twitter that while he was okay with companies using different representatives around the world, “to contemptuously change his culture this way is not something I can tolerate “
Mr. Boyega also produced the advertisement, based on his personal experiences, for the brand of scented candles, called London Gent.
But in China, advertising has been recast without any black actors.
Instead, it features Chinese actor Liu Hoaran as Mr. Boyega.
Boyega, who also starred in Detroit and Attack the Block, only found out about her dismissal on social media, which Jo Malone herself said was “utterly despicable and disgusting.”
She added: “I know an apology has been made, but I’m sorry, this is someone’s life.
‘This is my life, this is his life.
“Don’t sit behind an apology, no one is human about it. Jo Malone London, Estee Lauder corporation, this is your mess, make it clear. ‘
Jo Malone London apologized to Mr Boyega, saying it was a “mistake” to try to replicate his personal experiences using a different actor.
The company said in a statement: “We deeply apologize for what, on our side, has been a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign.
“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. ‘
Boyega in his Jo Malone London commercial. In the Chinese version, he was replaced by actor Liu Hoaran
Boyega’s commercial, which he directed and appeared in, featured him on a white horse
The company said that although it “took immediate action” and removed the local version of the campaign, “we recognize that it was painful and that an offense was committed.”
He added: “We respect John and support our partners and fans around the world. We take this misstep very seriously and we are working together as a brand to do better moving forward.”
Mr. Boyega, who is a global ambassador for Jo Malone, was unaware of the Chinese advertising overhaul and only discovered it on Twitter, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The actor has previously said of the announcement, “There are several people in this video who either gave me a place to stay in LA when I didn’t have one or who were just consistent in our friendship for years.
“It’s about breaking free from the concept of ‘coming back or going back to your roots’, but no longer existing roots with this new side of my life.”
All black cast members were replaced when the ad was recast and remade for Chinese audiences
Liu Hoaran looking at a perfume bottle in the Chinese version of the John Boyega ad originally designed for the brand
Mr Boyega, 28, also directed the advertisement, based on his personal experiences, for the brand of scented candles, titled London Gent
It has already been downplayed in Chinese marketing material. In 2015, the Chinese poster for the new Star Wars movie featured a much smaller version of his character Finn compared to the original.
The actor recently opened up about the racism he suffered after taking on the role of Star Wars.
Referring to a social media campaign to boycott the films because of his cast, he said, “I’m the only cast member who has had their own unique experience of this franchise based on their race… that you angers at a process like this. ‘