Michael B. Jordan has spoken!
After backlash following the announcement of his new brand of rum — named after the Caribbean festival J’Ouvert — the actor is taking a step back.
The term J’Ouvert is the name of the celebration with 18th-century roots in Trinidad where the island was controlled by French colonizers who kept slaves to toil in the coffee, cotton industries, and sugar.
When the news broke that his new rum brand was allegedly working to trademark the name, people began to denounce Jordan and accuse him of cultural appropriation.
Amid the backlash, Trinidadian-born, New York-raised rapper, Nicki Minaj took to her Instagram to correct Jordan and encourage him to make things right.
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“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 and continue to flourish & prosper,” wrote the “Beez in The Trap” emcee in her post.
It looks like her call to action worked because today (June 23), Jordan took to his own Instagram to address the allegations.
“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,” wrote the “Creed” actor in an Instagram story. “Last few days has been a lot of listening, A lot of learning & engaging in countless conversations.”
He also reiterated that he has heard the concerns and will make a change to the name of his product.
“We hear you. I hear you & want to be clear that we are in the process of renaming,” he continued. “We sincerely apologize & look forward to introducing a brand we can all be proud of.”
Can Michael B. Jordan be forgiven now that he’s working to make things right?