British perfumer Joanne Lesley Malone, better known as Jo Malone, has strongly criticized the brand she created, but is no longer associated with, over the controversy involving “Stars Wars” actor John Boyega.
Speaking on U.K. broadcaster ITV’s “Lorraine” show on Friday, Malone said that she felt “humiliated.” “I am so horrified and disgusted about what has been done to John,” Malone said. “How dare somebody treat him [like that], and he finds out he is replaced on social media? They never spoke to him. That for me is utterly despicable and is disgusting.”
Malone created the brand and sold it to Estee Lauder in 1999 and stopped being associated with the brand, Jo Malone London, in 2006. The brand has been under fire in recent weeks when they replaced their then brand ambassador John Boyega with Chinese actor Liu Haoran in a commercial meant for the China market. The award-winning commercial was conceived, created by and starred Boyega. The brand subsequently apologized to Boyega. Boyega then resigned as their brand ambassador.
“I didn’t sell my dreams and aspirations and I didn’t fight for my life to sit here and live in this way,” Malone said. “I feel totally alone, first of all, I’ve reached out to no more than three people, I feel so humiliated.”
On Thursday, Jo Malone London reiterated its apology, making it clear that the perfumer had left the company in 2006 and had no part to play in the controversy.
— Jo Malone London (@JoMaloneLondon) September 17, 2020
“I know apologies have been issued, but I’m sorry, this is someone’s life,” Malone said. “This is my life, this is his life. Don’t sit behind an apology, no one’s being human about this. Jo Malone London, Estee Lauder corporation, this is your mess clear it up.”