British perfumer Jo Malone has slammed bosses at the brand that bears her name over their decision to edit John Boyega out of the Chinese version of an advert he created and starred in.
The original version of the ad, which John conceived and directed, titled "London Gent", was released last year (19), and featured the star with family and friends in his hometown of Peckham, south London – including scenes in which he danced with pals and rode a horse.
However, John quit his role as a global ambassador for the perfume brand after the original multicultural cast were replaced with Chinese actors, without his knowledge, for a new version.
Speaking to U.K. TV host Lorraine Kelly, Jo, who sold her firm to Estee Lauder in 1999 and left in 2006 criticised its current management for the scandal – and expressed her fury she was being associated with the move.
"This has gone global. My name has been associated and it's been done in my name, but also people think it's me. Lorraine, you know me, you've known me a long time. There is nothing in this, nothing that resembles me."
Addressing the "Star Wars" actor, she added, "Nothing of my spirit, if I'd been standing there in those shoes, I promise you John this would never have happened."
Raging at executives over how they treated John, she continued, "I feel so humiliated. This man wasn't using his image to just promote something – he brought his creativity. When you look at that video and you look through his eye being a child, that man brought his life story to people and to that brand and how dare somebody treat him – and he finds out he's been replaced on social media."
"That's the bit that really gets to me. It's the fact they never spoke to him, they never considered for one minute what he would feel like. That for me is utterly despicable and it's disgusting."
Estee Lauder chiefs have issued an apology to John and a statement clarifying that Jo is no longer involved with the brand – but this isn't good enough for the businesswomen.
"I know apologies have been issued, but I'm sorry, this is somebody's life," she fumed. "This is my life, this was his life. Don't sit behind an apology and no one's being human about this. And do you know what Jo Malone London, Estee Lauder corporation, this is your mess, clear it up."