NEW YORK (AP) – British perfume brand Joe Malone has apologized to Black Star John Boyega for his “Star Wars” fame, as he helped make it out of the Chinese version of a Cologne commercial.
Jo Malone London said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter that the advertisement intended for Chinese audiences was false and has been removed. The recreated ad replaced Boyega with Chinese star Liu Haran.
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“The concept of the film was based on John’s personal experiences and should not be repeated,” it said.
Joe Malone and his parent company Estée Lauder did not respond to email requests for comment Sunday. Boyega and his representatives also could not be reached for comment.
The original advertisement starring Boyega aired last year and was dubbed “The London Gent”. It revolves around the London-born actor where he grew up and rides a horse in a park, and references his Nigerian heritage in a scene featuring West African dress.
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This is not the first time Boyega has been removed from China-based advertising. He played a lead role as Finn in 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, but he and other non-characters were removed or reduced from a Chinese poster for the film.
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Boye has spoken out about Hollywood racism, recently telling GQ that Black characters have been “pushed” into Disney’s “Star Wars” franchise.
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