After being controversially replaced in an award-winning ad campaign that he created, John Boyega publicly stepped down as the brand ambassador for UK fragrance company Jo Malone. While the company issued a statement apologizing for its mistake, the real life Jo Malone is “humiliated” over how poorly Boyega was treated.
While Malone is no longer involved with the brand after selling it to Estee Lauder in 1999, the company still bears her name, and the British perfumer did not enjoy seeing it associated with the Boyega controversy. “How dare somebody treat him [like that], and he finds out he is replaced on social media?” Malone said on a Friday segment of the UK morning show Lorraine, via Variety. “They never spoke to him. That for me is utterly despicable and is disgusting.”
Malone is also upset over the brand’s second attempt at an apology, which involved simply repeating its earlier statement to Boyega and adding that Malone had no involvement in the controversy. “This is my life, this is his life,” Malone said. “Don’t sit behind an apology, no one’s being human about this. Jo Malone London, Estee Lauder corporation, this is your mess, clear it up.”
In a Twitter thread on Monday, Boyega revealed that he was resigning from the fragrance company after he learned that it repurposed a short film based on his personal life that he made for the brand and reshot it with a new actor for China. Boyega was never given a heads up, nor did the fragrance company ask for his consent.
“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,” Boyega tweeted. “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.”