After conceptualizing, directing, and starring in an award-winning commercial for British perfume company Jo Malone, Star Wars actor John Boyega was edited out for a version of the commercial that was to be aired in China.
The commercial, which originally featured Boyega and a multiracial cast of his friends and family that was also removed, was reshot with Chinese actor Liu Hoaran replacing Boyega.
In an exclusive statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Jo Malone "deeply apologize[d] for what, on our end, was a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign."
"The concept for the film was based on John's personal experiences and should not have been replicated", the statement read. "While we immediately took action and removed the local version of the campaign, we recognize that this was painful and that offense was caused."
This is not the first time Boyega was the victim of alleged anti-Black racism in China. When the poster for 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released in China, Boyega's prominent place on the North American poster was noticeably diminished.
Boyega spoke about his negative experiences with the Star Wars franchise in an interview with GQ. "What I would say to Disney is do not bring out a Black character, market them to be much more important in the franchise than they are and then have them pushed to the side," he said. "It’s not good. I’ll say it straight up.”