Netizens accuse Michael B. Jordan of cultural appropriation due to his rum line

Published June 25, 2021, 11:52 AM

by John Legaspi

The ‘Black Panther’ star has now apologized and vowed to rename his product

Michael B. Jordan

After receiving backlash over the weekend about his upcoming rum line, Hollywood actor Michael B. Jordan is throwing in the towel and promises to make right changes on his product.

Netizens, also female rapper Nicki Minaj, accused the “Black Panther” star of cultural appropriation after naming his liquor line “J’Ouvert,” a term that marks the beginning of Carnival festivities in the Carribean and is traditionally observed by the people of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T).

An online petition was created to call out the yet to be released celebrity drink. The change.org petition now has more than 13,000 signatures supporting its campaign, 2,000 short from its 15,000 goal.

“The word J’Ouvert heralds the annual indigenous festivities of T&T’s beloved Carnival, which began in the 1800s and is still practiced globally by people in and from the Caribbean,” the campaign reads.

“We are not powerless people! We are a people rich in culture, history, and love. 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!”

Through an Instagram story, Michael responded to the plea, saying that their “intention was never to offend or hurt a culture.”

“Last few days [have] been a lot of listening. A lot of learning and engaging in countless community conversations… We hear you. I hear you and want to be clear that we are in the process of renaming,” the actor writes. “We sincerely apologize and look forward to introducing a brand we can all be proud of.”

This is not the first time a Hollywood personality has been accused of cultural appropriation by people for their liquor products. Last May, model Kendall Jenner’s tequila brand sparked outrage on Twitter with users protesting to boycott her brand for exploiting Mexico’s tequila crafting tradition.