Michael B. Jordan is apologizing for naming his new rum company J’Ouvert Rum, which shares the name of a Caribbean celebration that marks the start of Carnival.
Since unveiling the new rum brand, the Black Panther star was met with accusations of cultural appropriation and Trinidadian-born celebrities such as Nicki Minaj have called on Jordan to step away from using a culturally significant name.
In addition, a Change.org petition demanding Jordan to not trademark the name J’Ouvert amassed nearly 12,000 signatures.
Jordan issued an apology early Wednesday and, in reference to the growing backlash, confirmed he is “in the process of renaming” the brand.
“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 and shine a positive light on,” Jordan, 34, announced via Instagram story. “Last few days has been a lot of learning & engaging in countless community conversations.”
“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.”
The celebration of J’Ouvert originated in Trinidad and Tobago, but spread throughout the Caribbean following emancipation.
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