15/09/2020 6:15 PM AEST | Updated 15/09/2020 6:48 PM AEST

John Boyega Quits Jo Malone Role After Being Cut From Chinese Version Of Advert He Directed

The Star Wars actor said that "dismissively trading out one’s culture this way is not something I can condone".

John Boyega has announced that he is stepping down from his role as an ambassador with Jo Malone, after it was revealed he’d been cut from the Chinese version of an advert for the perfume brand that he’d helped create.

Last year, Jo Malone debuted a new advertising campaign directed by and featuring the Star Wars actor, which showed him walking around Peckham, where he was born and raised, dancing with friends and spending time at home with his family.

A reshot version of the ad featuring actor Liu Haoran in similar scenes was recently unveiled for the Chinese market, with a spokesperson having since apologised for what they described as a “misstep”.

Posting on Twitter, John explained his decision to leave his role at the company, stating that “dismissively trading out one’s culture this way is not something I can condone”.

John Boyega

“I have decided to step down as Jo Malone’s global ambassador,” he wrote. “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.

“Their 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 added: “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.”

A tweet shared on the official Jo Malone page said: “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.”


In a statement issued on Monday, a Jo Malone representative said: “We deeply apologise for what on our end was a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign.

“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.

“While we 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.” 

John previously retweeted a message from a fan which read: “This is the ad John Boyega came up with and directed. It is great. Now, this man needs to be properly compensated for the thievery! No apology is good enough.”