Jo Malone denounces her former brand’s John Boyega decision

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Jo Malone said her former company’s treatment of John Boyega was “despicable”

Jo Malone has criticised the perfume brand bearing her name for their treatment of the actor John Boyega.

Malone is no longer personally associated with the company, having sold it to Estee Lauder in 1999.

The company, Jo Malone London, apologised after replacing the Star Wars actor in an aftershave advert for the Chinese market.

“I am so horrified and disgusted about what has been done to John,” Malone told ITV’s Lorraine on Friday.

“How dare somebody treat him [like that], and he finds out he is replaced on social media?

“They never spoke to him. That for me is utterly despicable and is disgusting.”

Jo Malone London re-shot the advert the Star Wars actor made, in his home town of London, for broadcast in China.

While the script for the aftershave commercial – which was originally conceived and directed by the British star – remained largely the same, it saw him replaced by another actor, Liu Haoran.

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Media captionSpot the difference: John Boyega advert and the Chinese version

The original version, entitled London Gent, showed Boyega hanging out with friends and family in Peckham, where he grew up, but they were also removed for Chinese audiences.

Boyega stepped down as an ambassador for the company in protest over their decision.

The firm issued an apology to Boyega on Monday, saying: “We deeply apologise for what, on our end, was a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign.”

Jo Malone London reiterated their apology on Thursday, clarifying that the founder has not been involved with her former company since 2006.

Former owner Malone expressed her dismay at being dragged into the situation on social media earlier this week.

Speaking to Lorraine on Friday, she added: “From a personal level, I feel heartbroken by this and I don’t know where to turn.”

“This has gone global and my name has been associated,” she went on. “It’s been done in my name but also people think it’s me.”

“If I’d have been standing in those shoes I promise you John this wouldn’t have happened.

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A Jo Malone London perfume and scented candle shop in Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport

Malone added: “This man wasn’t using his image to just promote something – he brought his creativity [to the advert].”

She said Boyega “brought his life story to people and to that brand and how dare somebody treat him [like that] and he finds out he’s been replaced on social media. That’s the bit that really gets to me.”

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