Michael B. Jordan offered an apology for the name of his new rum brand and said he would change it, after rapper Nicki Minaj claimed Caribbean residents would find it “offensive.”
“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 “Creed” star wrote on Instagram Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, Trinidadian-born Minaj accused him of cultural appropriation for naming his new business venture after a festival the country has been celebrating annually since the mid-1800s, when slaves were emancipated.
The rum brand was advertised as being “derived from the Antillean Creole French term meaning ‘daybreak,’ J’OUVERT originated in the pre-dawn streets of Trinidad, as a celebration of emancipation combined with Carnival season to serve as the festival informal commencements.”
“Crafted on those same islands,” the promotion continued. “J’OUVERT Rum is a tribute to the party start.” But Minaj suggested that Jordan change the name before the party gets in full swing.
“I’m sure MBJ didn’t intentionally do anything he thought Caribbean ppl would find offensive— but now that you are aware, change the name & continue to flourish & prosper,” Minaj captioned on Instagram beside a brief history of the festival.
The post explains that the twenty-four-hour street parade spread throughout the Caribbean as enslaved populations of other islands were eventually emancipated.
Jordan chose to heed Minaj’s warning and rename the company, though no new moniker has been announced yet. “We hear you,” he responded. “I hear you [and] want to be clear that we are in the process of renaming. We sincerely apologize [and] look forward to introducing a brand we can all be proud of.