Actor Michael B. Jordan today announced he’s changing the name of his alcohol label after backlash online.
Three days ago Jordan, best known for his role in Black Panther, launched a rum brand called J’ouvert. A name that "marks the official start of the two day carnival celebrations in Trinidad & Tobago." The choice of the label was attempting to evoke rum as a sort of party starter.
However, people saw this as a move by the actor to make money off of West Indian culture, especially with the attempt to trademark the word “J'ouvert.”
As spotted by Breitbart, Jordan announced the move via an Instagram story.
“I just wanna say on behalf of myself & my partners, our intention was never to offend or hurt a culture (we love & respect) & hoped to celebrate & shine a positive light on. Last few days has been a lot of listening. A lot of learning & engaging in countless community conversations…”
Jordan then vowed to rename the brand. “We hear you. I hear you & want to be clear that we are in the process of renaming. We sincerely apologize & look forward to introducing a brand we can all be proud of.”
To understand why the Black Panther actor buckled, the backlash had reached the attention of Nicki Minaj, who herself hails from Trinidad and Tobago.
“I’m sure MBJ didn’t intentionally do anything he thought Caribbean ppl would find offensive— but now that you are aware, change the name & continue to flourish & prosper.”
A change.org petition garnered over 12,000 signatures to stop the trademark from happening.
The petition page argued: "We are not a powerless people! We are a people rich in culture, history and love. It's time we love ourselves enough to stop the sale of our culture to foreign entities that do not respect or value our global contributions, and who do not support and uphold our countries in respectful, long-lasting, tangible and verifiable ways!"
Earlier this year, Breitbart noted how Kendall Jenner's 818 Tequila faced a similar debacle. Yet in that case she refused to cede to activist demands.
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