Most celebrities are branching out into entrepreneurship and getting all the praise. Michael B. Jordan is however facing backlash over the name of his new rum brand.
The Black Panther star launched J’Ouvert Rum over the weekend, and he has since been accused of cultural appropriation over the name of the brand.
The name is said to be inspired by J’Ouvert, an annual event held specifically in Trinidad and Tobago during Carnival. Many people are peeved about J’Ouvert being trademarked by the actor, who has no links to the region and its culture.
Paula Gopee-Scoon, the Minister of Trade and Industry in Trinidad and Tobago, shared her views on the matter, saying, “We’ll do the necessary investigation…”
“This is of keen interest, not only to the Ministry of Trade and Industry but also to the intellectual property office of the Ministry of the Attorney General, and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture,” she continued. “We all have an interest. Trinidad and Tobago is our interest,” she told Newsday in a statement.
Below are some reactions from Twitter on the newly launched Michael B. Jordan launched rum.
Michael B Jordan got to trademark “j’ouvert” and it was allowed?
When Kim K tried to trademark Kimono what happened?
Nah, sumn haffi do
— ✨CoconutCrescendo🇻🇨 (@TheMizzCandy) June 20, 2021
Michael B. Jordan owns rum made in Trinidad? (I’m assuming “those same islands” mean Trinidad and Tobago? idk chile) pic.twitter.com/ZGDVIGG01Y
— Cece. (@caribbean_cece) June 20, 2021
imagine trying to explain what jouvert is to someone and they go “oh michael b jordan rum” 😕 https://t.co/kmTtYuBRYb
— nika🦋 (@spxcyy) June 20, 2021
What’s next? A free doubles with every #JouvertRum purchase?! 🥴😭 someone point out Michael B Jordan’s Trini roots fast for me please!!! Cuz I’m not understanding this shit. Is it his grandma who makes the rum cakes??? pic.twitter.com/7Q8E1uowmU
— Hot & Unbothered 🤎 🇬🇩🇬🇾 (@AllianaSabrina) June 20, 2021
But look how they draw Trinidad and Tobago nah.. Utter madness.. You know if it was the other way round, that’s would’ve been a huge story.. 🙄🤔🇹🇹💯 pic.twitter.com/FXwp4Efrh5
— Ķëøñ Ďëøñ Háĺĺ (@KEON_HALL11) June 20, 2021
Meanwhile, Jordan has apologized for the incident. The Creed star took to his Instagram story on Tuesday, stating that he is in the process of renaming the rum 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 & shine a positive light on.
“Last few days has been a lot of listening. 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.”
The 34-year-old added: “We sincerely apologise & look forward to introducing a brand we can all be proud of.”