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Michael B. Jordan changes rum name after cultural appropriation claims

The Black Panther star is in the process of altering the name of his ‘J’Ouvert’ rum following backlash from the Caribbean community.

Black Panther star Michael B Jordan helped direct a film for Bacardi rum in 2018

Hollywood actor Michael B. Jordan became the latest celeb to announce his own alcohol line last month. But his plans quickly hit a roadblock when the rum’s name came under fire for being culturally insensitive, reports Movieweb.

Jordan called his rum J’Ouvert, after the starting day of a Caribbean festival that originated in Trinidad and Tobago, partly to honour and celebrate emancipation from slavery.

However, members of the Caribbean community, including rapper Nicki Minaj, have stepped in to question Jordan’s claim to Caribbean culture.

As Movieweb reports, more than 12,000 signatures have been added to an online petition which includes the following:

“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. We are not a 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!”

Jordan has since apologised and is in the process of renaming his rum. In an Instagram Story, he wrote:

“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. We sincerely apologize & look forward to introducing a brand we can all be proud of.”

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