Michael B. Jordan to Rename Rum Brand Amid Allegations of Cultural Appropriation

Michael B. Jordan to Rename Rum Brand Amid Allegations of Cultural Appropriation

Michael B. Jordan attends 12th Annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic at Liberty State Park. – Liberty State Park, NJ – June 1, 2019 (Shutterstock)

By David K. Li, TODAY

Actor Michael B. Jordan apologized Tuesday for his naming his new brand of rum after a Caribbean festival, which sparked allegations of cultural appropriation against the “Creed” star.

His “J’Ouvert rum” shares the same name of a celebration that has 18th-century roots in Trinidad, when the island was controlled by French colonizers who kept slaves to toil in the sugar, coffee and cotton industries.

The 34-year-old “Friday Night Lights” star said he understood the backlash and promised to change the rum’s name.

“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,” the actor wrote on his Instagram Story late Tuesday night. “Last few days has been a lot of listening, A lot of learning & engaging in countless conversations.”

He added: “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.”

The withering backlash appeared to be fueled by Nicki Minaj, the Trinidadian-born, New York-raised rapper, singer-songwriter.

About six hours before Jordan’s message, Minaj — with 142 million Instagram followers — shared an extensive Instagram post by Trinidadian artist Xaria Rae Roxburgh who explained the festival’s sobering ties to slavery.

The “Starships” artist said she’s sure Jordan “didn’t intentionally do anything he thought” would offend those with Caribbean roots. But she still urged him, “now that you are aware,” to “change the name” and “continue to flourish & prosper.”

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