After being accused of cultural appropriation, actor Michael B. Jordan announced through social networks that he will change the name of his rum line. This after they pointed out that the name he chose belongs to a carnival in Trinidad and Tobago that traditionally began after the emancipation of enslaved people in the region that now makes up the country.
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Through your Instagram account, Michael B. Jordan he apologized for using the name “J’Ouvert”, from the aforementioned carnival, for his brand of rum, which he had just announced. Network users were those who questioned whether the actor was aware of what the name represented for the people of Trinidad and Tobago or had even visited that country, so they wondered if it was not a case of cultural appropriation. This was what the actor from Creed: Champion’s Heart – 94% responded:
I just want to say on behalf of myself and my colleagues that our intention was never to offend or hurt a culture (we love and respect) and we hope to celebrate and shed light. The last few days have been a lot of listening. Lots of learning and connecting with countless conversations with communities. We listen to them. I listen to you and I want to be clear that we are in the process of changing the name. We sincerely apologize and hope to introduce a brand that we can be proud of.
The controversy was not only on the Internet. Celebrities like Nicki minaj, who is originally from Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Paula Gopee-Scoon, trade minister of that country, drew attention to what they considered the inappropriate name of the rum brand of the actor also known for giving life to Killmonger in Black Panther – 90%. Apparently, he did not turn a deaf ear and decided that it was better to change the name of his product.
This is not the first time that a celebrity has been in trouble for trying to brand a product that is considered traditional to a country or region or for appropriating the name of some tradition. The same thing also happened a few weeks ago with the announcement of a model’s tequila brand Kendall jenner. And who could forget what also happened when Disney tried to register the name of the Day of the Dead as its own after the release of Coco – 97%.
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Cultural appropriation refers to the practice of appropriating, for economic benefit, some cultural element of a group, which reduces the value of these elements and makes them an object of consumption or a version stripped of the cultural meaning they have. In Mexico, there has been much discussion, for example, of the appropriation that some fashion firms or designers have made of the typical textile designs of the traditional clothing of our country, such as huipiles, for example.
Jordan, who is one of the most famous young actors of color today, has several new projects on the way. Perhaps the closest is the third installment of the saga of Believe In which he is going to make his directorial debut and is expected to start production soon to meet its release date at the end of November 2022. His most recent film, No Regrets – 50%, can be seen on Prime Video.
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