Michael B. Jordan apologizes, says he'll rename his new rum after accusations of cultural appropriation
Michael B. Jordan has issued an apology for the name of a line of rums he planned to launch.
After critics accused the actor of cultural appropriation, he posted a lengthy statement on his Instagram stories on Tuesday in which he apologized for calling the new line J'Ouvert, after a Caribbean carnival that is celebrated over two days in Trinidad and Tobago and throughout the Caribbean.
"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," he wrote. "Last few days has been a lot of listening. A lot of learning & engaging in countless community conversations ..."
After Jordan announced the line's name and upcoming launch over the weekend, social media users were quick to point out that Jordan has no apparent ties to Caribbean culture and therefore should not be appropriating the festival's name. They were further outraged by the fact that Jordan's trademark filing claimed J'Ouvert has "no meaning in a foreign language."
Rapper Nicki Minaj, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago, weighed in on the matter on Tuesday. "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," she wrote in an Instagram caption that accompanied an explanation of J'Ouvert's ties to the emancipation from slavery in Trinidad and Tobago.
"We hear you," Jordan continued in his apology. "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."