Michael B Jordan is expanding his investments, but one new addition to his portfolio has sparked a bit of an outrage.
Jordan’s new J’Ouvert Rum brand caused a huge backlash. He is not alone in this venture as Snoop Dogg, Diddy, and others are in the spirits industry, but Jordan is getting dragged over this as well.
Accusations of cultural appropriation are coming out from critics of all backgrounds. Those with Caribbean roots are especially upset at the new rum brand. It was launched on Sunday and Lori Harvey, Jordan’s girlfriend, shared a few snaps of them celebrating the launch. One shot included a look at the box which included Jordan’s inspiration for the name.
“Derives from the Antellian Creole French term meaning ‘daybreak,’ J’OUVERT originated in the pre-dawn streets of Trinidad, as celebration of emancipation combined with Carnival season to serve as the festival informal commencements. Crafted on those same islands, J’OUVERT Rum is a tribute to the party start.”
It didn’t take people very long to start commenting across social media.
“Modern day J’ouvert may look fun to you because of all the music and mud and paint but if you knew anything about the vitality of Trinbagonian people or west Indian people it’s that through all we been through we celebrate our past and ancestors with jubilation,” one Twitter user said. “We’re happy people despite it all. just because a festival or aspect of our culture looks fun and inviting does NOT mean it’s yours to take. everything here has a dark past but we make due in honour of those who came before us. respect it and leave it alone.”
Others have argued that the word Jordan picked for his brand of rum takes away the sentimental value. The packaging was also called out for showing three islands, when Trinidad & Tobago is a two-island nation. That was obviously an omission in the approval process.
We’ll have to see if this controversy hurts the sale of Jordan’s new rum. Controversy can sometimes bring even more interest to something, creating the opposite result that protestors wished. As of this writing, Michael B. Jordan has not commented on this situation.
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