John Boyega steps down as Jo Malone global ambassador over Chinese ad: Watch both adverts back to back

15 September 2020, 11:24 | Updated: 15 September 2020, 11:34

John Boyega with the two versions of Jo Malone's London Gent advert's inset
John Boyega has stepped down as global ambassador for Jo Malone. Picture: 1 David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images 2. YouTube/Jo Malone

The Star Wars actor has stepped down as a brand ambassador for the fragrance and candle company, after they apologised for replacing him for a Chinese star.

This week has seen Jo Malone hit the headlines after they were criticised for removing all trace of John Boyega in the Chinese version of their A London Gent campaign.

Earlier this week, the fragrance brand apologised to the Star Wars actor in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, which read: "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: "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."

The original version saw John Boyega in his native London, riding a horse and partying with friends. He also directed the advert and based it around his experiences.

Watch it below:

The alternate version, which was created for a Chinese market, saw Boyega replaced with local ambassador and Chinese actor Liu Hoaran but with a similar creative idea and aesthetic. It also recast the full advert without any black actors.

John Boyega took to Twitter this morning to announce his resignation from the brand, writing: "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.

"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."

The 28-year-old actor added: "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.

"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."

See the ads side by side here:

It's not the first time the actor has been minimised in the Chinese market.

His presence on the Chinese poster for the new Star Wars film was made much smaller compared with the original.

READ MORE: Star Wars makers show support for John Boyega's Black Lives Matter speech