John Boyega steps down as Jo Malone ambassador after they cut him from his ad

Embed from Getty Images
Since leaving Star Wars, John Boyega has been speaking out about the discrimination and frustration he felt for not being supported by the creators and studio against the constant racist online abuse from some of the extreme fans. He’s also mentioned the fact that they decided to sideline the majority of the characters of color by the last movie.

Fragrance brand Jo Malone has had to apologize to John for erasing him from their ad campaign in the Chinese market. John became Jo Malone’s first Black global ambassador last year. John wrote and directed a commercial commercial promoting Jo Malone’s aftershave. However when it came to the brand’s Chinese market, they decided to copy and paste Asian actor Liu Haoran along with other white and Asian actors into the ad instead, effectively erasing John and Black people AND stealing John’s work. Here is more on the story from The Guardian:

Boyega was replaced by Liu Haoran after the commercial was recast and reshot for the Chinese market. The original advert, London Gent, which was released last year, featured Boyega walking around Peckham, south London, riding a horse, dancing with friends and hanging out with his family. The original cast was multicultural, while the Chinese remake featured no black cast members.

“We deeply apologise for what on our end was a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign,” Jo Malone said in the statement to the Hollywood Reporter.

“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.”

The company added that while it “immediately took action” and removed the local version of the campaign, “we recognise that this was painful and that offence was caused. 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.”

Last year, Boyega, who was named the male global ambassador for Jo Malone, reflected on the deeply personal nature of the advert. “There are several people in this video that have either given me a place to stay in LA while I haven’t had one, or just have been consistent in our friendship for years,” he told Women’s Wear Daily.

“There’s a mixture of things you see me do in that 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.”

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Boyega was not made aware of the recasting of the ad and only found out about it on Twitter.

[From The Guardian]

Like I said, this isn’t John’s first time at the rodeo. He experienced being minimized in the Star Wars ads in the Chinese market for the Force Awakens. But what is egregious in the case of Jo Malone is the fact that the concept for the ad was created by John. Furthermore, John found out about this on Twitter.

This is bigger than a misstep in my opinion. John deserves more than a public apology. He deserves compensation for the use of his creative property without permission. One of the writers from the WWD article says that she doesn’t believe the move was racist and that Jo Malone was being savvy and catering to the market. I would agree with that if Jo Malone had created a concept that spoke to the culture of the region and not just cast Asian and white actors in the original roles like a bad copy and paste. It was a terrible move and the Jo Malone team really needs to do some soul searching on this one.

In response John has announced that he is stepping down as Jo Malone’s first male global ambassador. He states that the campaign that HE created also won the Fragrance Foundation Virtual awards 2020 for Best Media Campaign. So, I don’t blame him for stepping down. He is definitely staying true to his message and principles. Here’s part of his statement and the full statement is below.

In the meantime, I hope John finds roles that allow for his passion without erasing him. Roles that provide a safe space where John is supported and protected. What I am enjoying is how BIPOC, particularly Black artists, are exposing all the crappy dealings of these industries. I feel this is a good thing.

The original advert and the Chinese version:


Embed from Getty Images

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

81 Responses to “John Boyega steps down as Jo Malone ambassador after they cut him from his ad”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. GR says:

    “One of the writers from the WWD article says that she doesn’t believe the move was racist” – uh, no – I’m pretty sure that’s extremely racist.

    • Bibi says:

      This is disloyal beyond belief. To erase John was racist, to erase him and black people for a market putting aside your values is so small, to do it for money at a time like this is unrhinkable, to steal John’s award winning work is so sneaky and so dishonest. There is nothing good about this company’s soul.

      • Bros says:

        Im so sick of global brands and companies pandering to China’s overt racism and human rights abuses. I lived in china for a while. Black people are thought of as basically animals there. They really do not like them. We had many chinese visiting grad students and early stage professors come visit the center that I used to run and they came with THE most insane misconceptions about african americans. Jo Malone didn’t try to make this ad more culturally relevant to chinese people (it’s entirely devoid of culture and could take place literally anywhere and is more american hipster GOOP ad than anything chinese), it was washed of the blackness that created it because they know that it’s a huge turn off in the chinese market to have anything with black people in it or endorsing it. Shame shame. And im sick of the NBA apologizing for some of its team owners/managers/players supporting the incredible struggle of the people in hong kong to preserve their democracy and human rights. People, stop pandering to this regime.

      • Darla says:

        Yes, and also pandering to their anti-LGBTQ attitudes.

    • magdalena says:

      It is. When they say it’s not racist, they mean it’s not racist intentionally – as it is ingrained in the way of thinking. Though, it is’t any better and they shoud know better :/

      • Sarah says:

        Just because it isn’t consciously racist doesn’t stop it being racist. I agree with you entirely.

    • StephB says:

      I’m with you. The decision to remove and replace was based on his race. I am continually shocked that companies think they can get away with public disrespect in the digital age. He was bound to see the ad they stole and apparently didn’t think it would be a problem.

      Also I feel like we need to explore “what the Chinese Market” wants in greater detail. Because what they want vs what white advertising folks think they need might not be in alignment.

      • Honora says:

        stephb it’s Actually already really well documented. If curious you could check YouTube, the subreddit called china, twitter.
        It’s very upsetting for black people in china however it’s not killing them like USAs issue with police and black people. It’s more comments, as a white person in china we will get comments too, constant comments about our appearance And dumb questions about our culture. Black people have to deal with that plus serious discrimination in the ESL teaching industry, and not let into restaurants stores and hotels and kicked out of their homes a few months into the covid crisis. This was in Guangdong/canton province. However Although the issue in China with black people is not a deadly one right now, China is killing a lot of other people (not so much visitors from the west or Africa) and taking their organs And sterilizing them, forced abortions, torture.

    • MissMarierose says:

      I guarantee that writer is white. 100%

  2. Nev says:

    Jo Malone has one of the most lovely fragrances I’ve ever smelt for men since like 2003 and I was gonna save up to get it.
    Oh well.

    • Rosalee says:

      I just ran out of Jo Malone’s cardamom and mimosa..I planned on buying a new bottle online, I loved it, wore it for years but now it’s time for a new scent.

    • Anners says:

      This makes me sad – I really like their fragrances, but I can’t support such a blatantly racist company. Shame.

    • DiegoInSF says:

      Look into good dupes/inspiration oils like Oil Perfumery, they’re a Canadian company and their dupes are spot on! I love the Tom Ford ones.

  3. Becks1 says:

    WTF. That’s inexcusable.

  4. Also Ali says:

    Ah, their fragrance was on my wish list. Not anymore.

  5. BlueSky says:

    I’m sick of racism being minimized. Just another reason to excuse the behavior. This is why a lot of black people like myself get tired of trying to tell others of racist experiences only to have enablers make excuses. They not only erased him but used HIS work. Glad he walked away. He deserves better than this.

    • josephine says:

      Yup, there is no excuse, no rationalization. Someone sat in a room and decided that the Chinese market was worth it, that it was financially worth it to be overtly racist and cut out John while keeping the rest of his work. This is not an uncommon practice – people of color and women are well aware of the practice. And those in power are banking on us not harming them financially for doing so. So long as racism pays (and right now the pay-off is huge in the U.S. – you can get a high-ranking admin poisition or a judgeship while vastly inexperienced, or a talking head position), companies are going to continue to do this. No decency, no loyalty, no soul. It’s about keeping those shares profitable.

  6. Girl_ninja says:

    King Boyega did the right thing by exposing Jo Malone and stepping down. He deserves respect and this ain’t it.

    Jo Malone is overpriced anyway.

  7. Chica1971 says:

    Joe Malone is owned by Ester Lauder. Big Trump supporters. Some of their brands stay true to certain aesthetics and I think Jo Malone Is an English rose kinda brand.

    • Darla says:

      Oh no. I just spent hundreds of dollars on some estee skincare, I did not know this.

      I read this. I’m ashamed of myself for not knowing. Well, that will be the last dollar I give them.

      • manda says:

        I used to swear by EL! Thankfully I’ve become a bit of schlub and have not bought anything recently, but will not again. Thank you for the info!!

    • Betsy says:

      Lauder is still a family company and while some of them are big Trump supporters, other Lauder family members are not.

    • Lemons says:

      I’m not surprised. Estee Lauder tried for a long time to not cater to the black market in their makeup line, so it makes sense that they would jump through hoops and bend over backwards to blatantly erase the creative director of a fragrance ad to cater to the Chinese market, as if that was the only option.

    • Mtec says:

      Oh man, that’s upsetting. Estee Lauder “Pleasures” perfume was the first one i ever bought and continued till I became allergic. Then I recently got a Jo Malone tester kit as a gift and they all smelled so good! And didn’t give me allergies! I was planning on getting a full size one once I was done with these but definitely not anymore 😣

      I definitely think is was a very calculated and racist move to replace him. They just don’t want to think they as a brand is racist, but the fact that they thought a popular Black actor would lose them money in the Asian market—that means they made the decision knowing full well it was based on serving anti-black ideologies.

      • Diana says:

        Jo Malone actually owns and runs a different brand called Jo Loves, if you want to try that out! It’s unaffiliated with Estee Lauder, and Jo Malone the person didn’t have any input into this decision towards John Boyega.

      • msd says:

        Jo Malone (the actual woman) also does collections for Zara. Some of the scents are really lovely and not expensive at all. I like some of her classic scents (Blackberry & Bay mmmmmmmmm) but they don’t last long for the price, and since her company sold to a multinational they’ve done that typical thing of expanding the product lines too much.

  8. MB says:

    China is an EXTREMELY racist place, especially towards Black people.
    It’s all very obvious & out in the open too.

    • Aang says:

      I was once told by a Chinese student to not even bother applying to teach English in China or Korea because my skin is too brown and they won’t hire me. I don’t mind the warning but boy was that blunt.

      • Lemons says:

        My cousin (I’m black) teaches English in China and is now fluent in Chinese so I don’t know about that. I don’t think your student was incorrect in his assessment though. My cousin has had some experiences…

      • aang says:

        Lemons, I believe that. China is huge and I’m sure there are a variety of attitudes. I was more shocked by how matter of fact the student was when she said it. In the US we try to pretend racism doesn’t exist. I guess in China they own it.

  9. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Correction: Jo Malone hasn’t apologized. At all. They released a weak statement on Twitter basically shrugging at his leaving and “wishing him well”. Their pilfering his idea and erasing him from it was bad enough but there response to his stepping down has been just as bad.

    • Enny says:

      More than likely, although John created the concept and wrote the ad, Jo Malone actually owns the IP (that was probably in the contract) and can use/tweak the ad without John’s consent – it belongs to Jo Malone. That said, it was a poor decision on Jo Malone’s part, and while John likely can’t say much about how they use this particular content, he is well within his rights to not provide them with further content (as long as he has fulfilled his contract)

    • Agirlandherdog says:

      They recognize “offence was caused”… but don’t apologize for causing offense.

  10. Princess Peach says:

    Poor John. He has really gone through the ringer and is still out here fighting against racism.

  11. STRIPE says:

    That, as they say in tennis, is an unforced error. A monster one at that. Oof.

  12. ItReallyIsYouNotMe says:

    If it were me (and I realize it’s not and I don’t have his experiences), I might be persuaded to give Jo Malone another chance because of the change being made on the local level. The fact that he doesn’t even talk about that makes me think that he either knows something about it that doesn’t hold water or he’s sick to death of this happening in China and is sending a message that the HQ doesn’t get a pass for not paying enough attention. Either way, good for him. It takes courage to take a financial hit.

  13. heygingersnaps says:

    China specifically most mainland Chinese people are racist. They have an obsession towards pale skin and see dark skin colour as ugly.
    My late, half Chinese grandfather fled from China and never looked back, even to claim his inheritance, he was that done with the Chinese government. I sometimes regret not knowing any living relative there but I don’t speak Chinese and my mother begged her mother to pull her out of the local Chinese school when she was young preferring to study elsewhere.

    • Turtledove says:

      One thing that confuses me is, are people in China that much more racist than so many in America? I had no idea! The idea that they would erase a MAIN character off a movie poster over his race is shocking to me. (I probably shouldn’t be shocked by anything these days, but somehow that DID shock me)

      • Miumiiiu says:

        It’s complicated. They say more racist things for like no reason. They may never have met a black white or Indian person but have a bunch of ideas and not shy to spread them as if they were scientific fact. I’ve been told (in mainland China) that Jewish people are scientifically proven as the smartest in the world and Chinese are second place, then white etc. I wouldn’t say they have obsessive hatred of black people like some Americans do though. They have that kind of feeling for Japanese because there is real history and it’s not too long ago. They just don’t want black people as their teachers or in their perfume ads I guess. There was also the issue in Guangdong province where they were kicking black people out of everywhere during a time when there was a rumour (only in mainland china this rumour came about or was believed!) that covid came from Africa. So their racism does hurt black people sometimes but not literal harm to the level that happens in the usa.

      • heygingersnaps says:

        In major parts of Asia, people are obsessed with pale skin and they tend to look down on those with darker skin tones. At a young age people already get bombarded with skin whitening adverts. As a brown (& yellow) person, I used to bleach my skin to make it even paler but after moving to the UK, I’m now comfortable with my own skin tone.
        If I can simplify it it would be dark skin equals dirty/poor and white/pale skin equals beauty/wealth.

  14. Jane says:

    Good for him.

    I’ve nearly run out of my Jo Malone perfume and body cream. I won’t be replacing them.

  15. Case says:

    Good for him for stepping down after being SO erased and disrespected. I hate that he’s being put in these positions, but I admire that he is constantly standing up for himself and the Black community. He’s not an established enough actor where this is “safe” to do while protecting his career and he’s doing it anyway.

    • Turtledove says:

      Yes, this exactly Case. He is a great actor, but not such a big deal that he can do all this without worrying about his career, and he is doing it anyway. That is strength and conviction right there. Both examples, the SW posters and the Jo Malone situation are disgusting.

    • megs283 says:

      I agree, and this is the perfect time for a company that actually walks the walk to swoop him up as a partner.

  16. Betsy says:

    YIKES. You’re right, that’s no misstep, that’s egregious erasure of someone. I hope the company figures out a way to make it up to him.

    I wonder how the actual woman Jo Malone (no longer affiliated with the company that she started; she started Jo Loves a few years ago) feels about her name being dragged like this.

  17. BnLurkN4eva says:

    There really is no hope for humanity, is there? I go back and forth most days, but these last days, I have to just conclude that there really is no hope for our species.

    • KL says:

      I’ve only ever seen this attitude used as a “get out of activism free” card. As in, People Are Just Awful, What Can Be Done? Probably Nothing!

      I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, but seriously, don’t.

      • BnLurkN4eva says:

        Not trying to get out of anything, just feeling beyond low over the current state of the world. I do what I must but forgive me if I am not as optimistic about humans like I once was. You sound like you have the fire, good.

      • KL says:


        Someday you’ll realize it’s not about “the fire,” it’s about general resignation meaning a resignation to the TRULY intolerable circumstances of one’s present situation. Someday I hope you realize saying “humans are just this awful, I guess” is telling everyone going through actual suffering — oppression, subjugation, even torture — that they have no reason to expect better. Sometimes resignation is complicity.

        There’s a lot to feel low about. God, I would never call anyone to task for feeling low, especially at this time in history. But once you write it off people in general, you’re writing off genuine victims as well. That’s why I asked you not to.

  18. Lemons says:

    I just saw the plagiarized version and it’s just so blatant and bad. A bad sterilized copy without any soul. Even the music is terrible.

  19. Teresa says:

    This is racist but on a positive note I had not seen John’s commercial and I think it was the first fragrance commercial I have ever enjoyed. He did a great job. I hope every non racist power comes together and gives him a platform to perform and direct.

    • MissMarierose says:

      I agree. He did a great job with his commercial. It’s so full of life. The movement of the people and the camera is joyful. In contrast, the Chinese ad is devoid of emotion, almost robotic.

      I hope the blessing that comes from this is that John Boyega gets more directing jobs because he deserves it.

  20. manda says:

    I read once that companies try not to use black actors and models in media that will go to or be in china because chinese people don’t want to see that, which is one reason why movies are so white. So, if that is the reason why the change was made in this instance, then it can only be because of race. I can’t really see them changing this ad for china if it had been like, beckham or the red-haired singer (blanking on his name, but everyone loves him). Maybe they would have because yes, the chinese one was slightly bonkers and weird, but doubtful. But to me, why call him a global ambassador if your intent is for it not to be GLOBAL?

    I really like John Boyega and am going to watch Attack the Block today because he is so cool in it

    • lucy2 says:

      I wonder if that really is true, or if it’s just more corporate gate keeping. Like when the studios say “people won’t go see a movie with an older woman in the lead” even though plenty of people will buy that ticket if given the chance, or “we’ve already had a black led film this year, the public doesn’t want more” when the public truly DOES want more.

    • YAS says:

      I think it might be a bit of both? The new Star Wars movies didn’t do very well at the box office and by the third one, were essentially tanking at the Chinese box office. I think some studio execs probably looked at that and went “Oh, it’s got a Black person in it. That’s why it didn’t do well.” So instead of thinking that the Chinese market just doesn’t have the same emotional connection to the Star Wars universe, they look at something that more “fixable” in their eyes than the entire universe, and that’s casting. I’m not Chinese nor have I been to China for any meaninful amount of time, so I can’t speak to how entrenched and pervasive anti-Blackness is in that market, but I do have a friend who works for the NBA and travels there who has mentioned how popular the NBA is and how players like Steph Curry are beloved there. So I wonder if it’s perhaps less common than it used to be (or in the case of Steph Curry, perhaps colorism?). I’m not sure.

  21. A.Key says:

    I live in South Korea and while I admit racism and ignorance exists here I gotta say it’s probably the same as you’d get in the USA or UK or France or any other country.
    There are ignorant racist people and there are kind and wonderful people. I say do not let that discourage you from going anywhere you want to go. I would definitely recommend South Korea. I myself am not black but my roommate is (she is from Cameroon) and she’s only ever had great things to say about her experience living here.

    • aang says:

      I believe that’s that case. I was more struck by how freely she said it. Like it was just a fact. Asia is huge and I’m sure that there are different attitudes in different areas the same as in the US or Europe.

      • Miumiiiu says:

        Rich Chinese people kind of go for one look though (less diverse aesthetics than the west) long straight black or dark brown hair, white skin, thin, facial surgeries, clothes that aren’t too sexy, boobs but not too big. Japan Taiwan and Hong Kong do have more diversity. but Taiwan’s had its own scandals with racial ads for toothpaste. China had a scandal for a laundry soap ad.

  22. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    I can’t stand the way the world is pandering to a government which has tortured and is torturing its Uighur citizens, the Hong Kongese, and anyone who defies their overtly nationalist government. I also cannot stand the way companies pander to Chinese racism, which, as a Nigerian friend of mine discovered, was extreme. The colour-value there is culturally consuming: pallor is prized and celebrated. (My friend wrote a book on the experiences of a black man in China and it was eye-widening, to say the least. I hate what he went through.) To eliminate John Boyega, a talented, articulate and passionate man, is to erase blackness. I personally will boycott any company that behaves in such a shockingly sordid, creeping, pandering manner.

    • aang says:

      The Chinese government, not necessarily representative of all the Chinese people, is going to demand loyalty to its message if a company wants access to the Chinese market. Look at Disney thanking the Xinjiang security forces in the Mulan credits.

  23. lucy2 says:

    Bad enough to replace him, but considering he created and directed the whole thing and then they stole that from him???? I hope he has a massive lawsuit against them, hopefully he had a good contract for directing.

    Also…he’s a good director, right? I hope he does more and this experience didn’t sour it for him. He’s a very talented and honest guy, I am rooting for him to get all the things he wants.

  24. Anna says:

    I will live without Jo Malone

  25. Lindy says:

    I’m a huge perfume nerd (I have a spreadsheet and a budget and read indie perfume news regularly). Jo Malone was one of the mainstream perfumers whose scents were never really my thing, but who I always thought did a great job with mainstream perfumes that rose above the standard stuff you get on the shelf (even expensive mainstream perfumes see mostly made by the same small handful of chemical companies and the designers put their labels on).

    But I’m never buying a Jo Malone scent after this. It’s infuriating. It’s not only his image but his creative work as well. And their non-apology is terrible.

  26. L4frimaire says:

    This stunt by Jo Malone was so offensive, unprofessional and racist. The fact that they actually stole up his concept and then said black people cant be seen in a China is so many levels of wrong, He should sue them for intellectual theft. If they really liked the concept so much, they could have collaborated with him on directing and filming other ads centered on the other brand ambassadors personal experiences, but that would actually require respect and imagination on the brands part. That fact that they didn’t even tell him, that he found out from Twitter is so egregious. The replacement ad was so bland and lacking while Johns ad was so full of life. I wonder what the actor in the Chinese ad knew he was being cynically used in this way. Their “ apology “ was so weak. They knew what they were doing. This went too far and no way could he continue to work with them.

  27. Watson says:

    Boycott jo Malone

  28. Nadine says:

    The real Jo Malone sold her company to Estée Lauder in 1999 and stayed with the company another 5 years after that. She left and started her new company Jo Loves in 2011. If you like Jo Malone’s scents, you probably will like Jo Loves. Also a lot of them are vegan and cruelty free. Estée Lauder has never been cruelty free, much less vegan.

  29. Intheknow says:

    Love John since I saw him in Attack on The Block. I’d be OK with him being the next Black Panther. I personally don’t know Chadwick Boseman, but he appeared to be a lovely and thoughtful person. I think or I’d like to think he’d want to see the role passed on to someone like John Boyega who continues to fight openly for BIPOC.

    • Guest with Cat says:

      Is he even being considered for Black Panther? I’d love for a relatively unknown actor to get his big break and so get more black actors in front of audiences. But John is a proven talent and he has incredible presence so yeah, I could see it and support this casting. It’s not like anyone can really replace Chadwick anyway. It’s gonna be a new version of Black Panther no matter what happens. A different actor is just going to bring a different energy and presence to the role.

      • Intheknow says:

        @guest with cat
        No he hasn’t been mentioned. I don’t even think MCU has openly discussed any replacements as I imagine it’s still a very sensitive issue. Those were my own thoughts re John as potential replacement.

        For sure no one can replacement Chadwick. I tried rewatching Black Panther and couldn’t make it through, my heart isn’t ready yet. I want to enjoy it vs crying in my chamomille tea.

        As for an ‘unknown’, yeah, that’d be great too. I guess I was thinking more about John because of his bad experience with Star Wars and everything else. He’s a great actor who could use a proper ‘big break’. I didn’t know much about Chadwick until he was in the James Brown movie but only paid real attention once he was in Avengers, and Black Panther…anyhow, giving another unknown black actor a break would be awesome!

    • Nonartistic Diane says:

      No he hasn’t been mentioned for the next Black Panther. I think discussion of a new Black Panther at this point and time is distasteful. Chadwick Boseman hasn’t been dead for three weeks. Black people aren’t interchangeable, which I am sure isn’t the implication meant in this post but still… it bears repeating. I have no doubt John Boyega will move on to great things he’s gone through a lot and exhibited grace through it. Jo Malone really showed their ass with this. Wish I could say I was surprised.

      • Intheknow says:

        @nonartistic diane, I have ZERO interest in your faux-rage. I am BLACK. I don’t need to be told black people aren’t inter-changeable. No one anywhere suggested that. Stop your unhinged emotional projections. No matter when it is discussed, it WILL be painful and there will be ‘no right time’.

      • Nonartistic Diane says:

        Unhinged?? My response wasn’t faux rage. It was succint and to the point. It’s obvious and telling that you feel some kind of way about it though. Thanks for clarifying your blackness. It’s interesting that you felt the need to.

  30. Miumiiiu says:

    Im not into star wars so I haven’t seen Johns work anywhere but I love his perfume ad and I don’t usually find perfume ads very cool. Also he looks pretty cool in the traditional blue clothing.
    What a contrast between his ad and the remake. Although I find the other guy quite physically attractive he seems like such a soulless douche riding on the dinner table! I don’t enjoy his proud demeanour toasting his friends at the table. No charisma! Also it looks like he just learned to ride a bike. And the white horse is meaning what? « I’m so proud of my money » is the vibe I got. What a difference with johns original ad.

  31. detritus says:

    Perfect example of why capitalism is the root of many issues.

    It’s racist to pander to a racist audience for more money. Yet that is exactly what brand do. They don’t push for equality, they push for luxury banality and the privilege to ignore.

  32. Guest with Cat says:

    Wow, I knew that Chinese ownership rights in Hollywood production companies meant that it’s going to be long time before we see main characters in major franchises portrayed as LGBT. Especially male characters.

    But I didn’t realize doing business with China meant literally erasing black people as well. I wish we’d never normalized relations and trade with this regime. They won’t rest until we adopt their values in our own countries.
    I’ve read some very concerning things about their efforts to control what we see in movies meant for our own markets even when we provide a version for distribution in their country. They’re classic control freaks. And this comes at a bad time as we in the west are seeing a resurgence of ugly anachronistic white supremacy and people digging their heels in to protect and deny institutionalized racism.

    **Some Star Wars Rise of Skywalker spoilers coming…..

    I wonder if China’s racism is the reason Rey ended up in that highly creepy and sick relationship with Kylo Ren instead of Finn. Granted we have plenty of racism in western markets, but the CCP has clout over western businesses above and beyond that wielded by home grown bigots.

    My daughter and I thought Finn and Rey were so obviously devoted to each other in a way that went beyond platonic. We knew Rey was going to be putting in a lot of time alone like Luke did in becoming a Jedi. (LOL autocorrect said she was becoming Jewish!!!) But we thought at the end of the series, if everyone survived, she and Finn would be the next Star Wars couple to start up the next generation.

    And I think if they’d both been white or both been black, that’s what would have happened. It would have been a natural development based on how well they clicked together and how they met. The chemistry was there. John certainly played it that way, at least we thought so. He always kept Rose at arms length in a way he didn’t with Rey.

    So we were shocked when they were barely together in the second movie and suddenly Rose was practically throwing herself at Finn. Still, we expected that this would resolve in Rose being a part of the dynamic but either doing her own thing or maybe even developing something with Poe. But Rose did always seem doomed for the friend zone and it was because Finn already was devoted to Rey, and we thought it was mutual for Rey.

    But when the racist fan boys trashed Rose, the powers that be threw her aside like yesterday’s trash and introduced a black woman, Jannah, to have adventures with Finn.

    The black woman was such a late addition and not given enough build up that I actually had to look up the character’s name. She was just thrown into the chaos of the last movie and we aren’t left with any sense that she’s emotionally or romantically significant to Finn any more than Rose was. It’s like she was just there to keep Finn occupied and away from Rey.

    I think John invested into a back story with Rey and that may have accounted for his famous wtf reaction to her kiss with Kylo. That was our reaction, too.

    I thought he was the flipping male lead. Not Kylo. Not Poe. Finn. So when they just started throwing him in with other characters to see what sticks, without caring about how they helped him develop or would develop with him together as a team, I saw the racism as it was.

    To be sure, they did a crap job developing everyone. There were far too many characters showcased who ultimately weren’t going to amount to a continuing part of the story. That took away from the development of Rey, Finn, Poe and even C3PO and Chewy. There was a poignancy to things that happened to the latter two that were totally brushed aside.

    I’m sorry this post is so disjointed. It’s taken me 3 hours to make it. I’ve been interrupted by my daughter several times and my husband twice and by some hungry foster kittens. Lol such is life in the era of Covid-19.

    I’ll just finish this by taking a moment to appreciate the beauty, integrity, talent and passion of John Boyega. His raw honesty and courage of his convictions are exactly what this time in history needs. Black Lives matter. Black vision matters. Black stories matter. Black careers matter. F*ck racism.

  33. Geeena says:

    Good for John!!!!!! the audacity of stealing his work, erasing him. Hollywood lives and dies on the international money these days, for better or worse, probably for the worse, because China’s human rights abuses and racism keep getting excused. I know it’s not the most recent one, but Marvel changed a Tibetan character to a white woman. That movie went on to make $109 million dollars in China alone.

    So proud when celebrities are able to use their platform and Boyega continues to impress.

  34. BC says:

    I toured Europe last year and all and i mean ALL the Chinese tourists would stare at me and my friend and try to touch our skin. Made me feel so abnormal. Dont they get taught any manners? My blood is boiling because they did this same crap with Black Panther in China where they delayed launch due to the posters being all black people. For a country that started the corona virus by eating inedible animals, theyve got some nerve being racists. I have no kind words for China.

    • Intheknow says:

      @BC, you definitely don’t want to see how they are treating people from Africa who are in China to work. The open racism (not that closted is better). An African man was brutally beaten just being being black. I can’t remember what country in Africa he came from…considering how much China is ‘investing’ in all of Africa at the moment, it’s is quite disconcerting knowing how racist they can be.

  35. Nonartistic Diane says:

    Good for John. I believe he’s on to bigger and better things. It’s a damn shame that this is getting to be typical behavior with these companies. Or rather has been, they just care less about being overt about it.

  36. HeyThere! says:

    Honestly, this is inexcusable!!!!! Insane that someone thought this was an okay idea. I’m so done with people. Ugh. John deserves better than that. I also didn’t know/remember them editing him out of the advertisement for over there. Insane. Not okay.

  37. Nibbi says:

    Trash brand.
    I find this really shocking.
    They’ve got some beautiful fragrances and I’ve always seen them as a classy, understated sort of brand, but now they stand for so much hypocrisy and cynicism in my mind. Their behavior towards him and use of his work was straight-up exploitative. And how damn tone-deaf and clueless do you have to be to pull this kind of crap nowadays? Not that it was ever okay. Their actions don’t line up with the supposed “wokeness” they were going for when they hired him. It was apparently just performative and not reflective of a deeper shift or purity of their brand values, because otherwise they wouldn’t be so brazenly pandering to the racism of the Chinese market.
    I’m done with them. Trash trash trash.