UPDATED 06/23/21 1:44 a.m. ET: Michael B. Jordan will be changing the name of his rum brand following criticism.
Jordan took to social media on Tuesday night to apologize and make the announcement.
“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,” Jordan wrote on Instagram. “Last few days has been a lot of listening. A lot of learning & engaging in countless community conversations…”
He continued, “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.”
See original story below.
On Tuesday evening, the Trinidadian-born rapper shared an Instagram post calling on Jordan to rename his newly launched rum brand J’Ouvert. Nicki included a screenshot of another user’s “History Lesson” on the significance of J’Ouvert within Caribbean culture.
“I’m sure MBJ didn’t intentionally do anything he thought Caribbean ppl would find offensive,” Nicki captioned the post, “but now that you are aware, change the name & continue to flourish & prosper.”
Images of the J’Ouvert Rum began circulating on social media this week. Lori Harvey and actor Bryan Greenberg shared photos of the bottles as well as its packaging, which included a brief breakdown of J’Ouvert’s origins.
“Derived from the Antellian Creole French term meaning ‘daybreak,’ J’OUVERT originated in the pre-dawn streets of Trinidad, as celebration of emancipation combined with Carnival season to serve as the festival informal commencements,” a message inside the box reads. “Crafted on those same islands, J’OUVERT Rum is a tribute to the party start.”
Many accused the Black Panther star of trying to profit of a culture that he seemingly has no connection to. Others also expressed outrage over Jordan’s apparent attempt to trademark J’Ouvert—specifically slamming the portion of the application that read: “The wording “J’OUVERT” has no meaning in a foreign language.”
A Change.org petition is also attempting to block the the trademark of “J’Ouvert,” arguing the filing makes a “fraudulent and inaccurate statement” about the name.
“We are not a powerless people! We are a people rich in culture, history and love,” the petition reads. “It’s time we love ourselves enough to stop the sale of our culture to foreign entities that do not respect or value our global contributions, and who do not support and uphold our countries in respectful, long-lasting, tangible and verifiable ways!”
The petition has garnered more than 11,500 signatures as of Tuesday night. Jordan has yet to respond to the criticism.