Michael B. Jordan has announced that he will rename his rum
brand, J'Ouvert, after many critics, including rapper Nicki Minaj
, demanded that he change the name because it was offensive to Caribbean
On Tuesday, the "Black
Panther" actor said on Instagram
Stories that he never intended to "offend or hurt a culture (we love & respect) & hoped to celebrate."
He stated that he would be changing the brand's name after "a lot of learning" and "engaging in countless community conversations," and sincerely apologized.
J'Ouvert, an annual party held as part of Carnival in many Caribbean islands that celebrates emancipation and often takes place at daybreak, inspired the brand's name. Images of the brand's rum box set circulated on social media
this week, depicting Trinidad and Tobago
Many Caribbean-descent people
spoke out against Jordan's use of their culture in his business
What's next, free doubles with every #JouvertRum purchase?! Can someone please point out Michael B Jordan
's Trini roots for me? I'm not understanding this shit. Is it his grandmother who makes the rum cakes??? pic.twitter.com/7Q8E1uowmU — Hot & Unbothered (@AllianaSabrina) June 20, 2021
This is blatant cultural appropriation https://t.co/cPkJuEbxf6
— Xasha (@XashaAries) June 20, 2021
I suppose, but if he had previously participated in carnival, I could understand the name. Has he ever been to Trinidad??? Will the sales of this rum benefit Trinidad? — Hot & Unbothered (@AllianaSabrina) June 20, 2021
Dear Trinis, This is what happens when we are consistently ambivalent about our culture, largely ignore its historical, spiritual, and ideological significance, and give visibility and value to the ‘Cliff notes’ version of our culture. — Tillahwillah (@tillahwillah) June 20, 2021
Some people even started a petition to prevent Jordan from registering the rum as a trademark.
THREAD. ICYMI, Michael B Jordan has launched a rum brand called J'ouvert and has filed a trademark for the word J'ouvert. In his filing, he states
that the word "has no meaning in any language." I am enraged. Black Capitalism is still Capitalism. Sign the petition: https://t.co/0gNp4JAvGn https://t.co/UWS1ojZN7D
On Tuesday, Minaj joined the fray, posting a note on Instagram in response to a comment about the historical significance of J'Ouvert and why it is celebrated, and she also urged Jordan to reconsider the name of his brand.
“I'm sure MBJ didn't do anything intentionally to offend Caribbean people, but now that you're aware, change the name and continue to flourish and prosper,” the rapper wrote.
Barbie (@nickiminaj) shared this on Instagram.
Earlier this week, Trinidad and Tobago's Minister of Trade and Industry, Paula Gopee-Scoon, told the island's newspaper, Newsday, that Jordan's rum brand was a source of "extreme concern" due to intellectual property
“The first step is to gather the information to determine whether it is true, and then, in collaboration with the intellectual property office of the Ministry of the Attorney General, we will conduct the necessary investigation
and, as always, seek to support Trinidad while protecting what is ours,” Gopee-Scoon says.