John Boyega has received an apology from bosses at perfume brand Jo Malone after they cut him out of the Chinese version of an advert he conceived, directed and starred in.
The original version of the ad, titled London Gent, was released last year (18), and featured John with family and friends in his hometown of Peckham, south London – including scenes in which he danced with pals and rode a horse.
However for a Chinese remake, John and the rest of the original multicultural cast were replaced with Chinese actors – a change Jo Malone chiefs have now apologised for making, reportedly without his knowledge.
"We deeply apologise for what on our end was a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign," Jo Malone said in the statement to the Hollywood Reporter.
"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."
Company bosses claimed they "immediately took action" and removed the local version of the campaign that cut out the "Star Wars" actor, who is their male global ambassador, and 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."
John is yet to publicly comment on the controversy, but has retweeted strong criticism of the revised ad, including one that read, "This is the ad John Boyega came up with and directed. It is great. Now, this man needs to be properly compensated for the thievery! No apology is good enough."
In 2015, fans noticed that in Chinese posters for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" the 28-year-old's character Finn had been significantly reduced in size from the original artwork. The actor has subsequently criticised Disney executives for pushing his character "to the side" in the rest of the latest trilogy of "Star Wars" movies.