Michael B. Jordan found himself in a bit of controversy over the name of his newly launched rum brand, J’Ouvert — and now he’s apologizing for cultural appropriation.
An annual festival with origins in Trinidad, J’ouvert – an Antillean Creole French term translating to “daybreak” – goes back to the 18th century, during a time when people were still enslaved in the Caribbean country.
Many have used social media to explain the cultural significance of the holiday, including one Instagram user whose post was shared by Nicki Minaj. (The singer was born in Trinidad and Tobago.)
Jordan, 34, posted his apology on his Instagram Story Tuesday night, writing, “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 … ” the Without Remorse star continued.
Jordan ended his post by assuring readers, “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.”
Hours before Jordan addressed the controversy, Minaj, 38, shared an image that broke down the historical significance of the J’ouvert event. The post read, in part, “IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE NAME IT’S WHAT IT REPRESENTS PERTAINING TO ENSLAVEMENT AND FREEDOM.”
“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. ?? #jouvert,” the “Super Bass” hitmaker wrote in her caption.
If Kim Kardashian can rebrand ‘Kimono’ into SKIMS, Michael can rebrand this rum with ease.
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