Michael B. Jordan’s new business venture has landed him in some hot water.
Recently, the Without Remorse star announced his new brand of rum, named J’Ouvert. Per the product’s official description, the name it’s “Derived from the Antillean Creole French term meaning ‘daybreak’.”
J’Ouvert is also the name of a Caribbean Carnival festival with roots in Trinidad and Tobago. However, many feel as though Jordan is attempting to capitalize on and essentially trademark the Trinidadian even.
In response to the news, Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Trade and Industry–Paula Gopee-Scoon–told Newsday:
“We’ll do the necessary investigation and, as always, seek to support anything that is Trinidad,” she said. “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.”
Trinidadian rap star Nicki Minaj also shared her thoughts:
“I’m sure MBJ didn’t intentionally do anything he thought Carribbean ppl would find offensive she wrote in a instagram post. Now that you’re aware change the name & continue to flourish and prosper.”
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Minaj, who hails from Trinidad was among countless social media users who called out Jordan after he unveiled his latest business venture earlier this month. Minaj also reposted a message explaining the significance the word has for Caribbean and Trinbagonian culture.
“J’Ouvert also known as jouvay originated in Trinidad with the festivities of Canboulay, which was a time when sugarcane fields caught on fire and slaves were still forced to harvest the remaining crops before complete destruction,” the post read. “That event was reenacted and male slaves were mocked by their masters. However after emancipation the slaves mocked the masters mocking them. The festival begins way before the crack of dawn and proceeds a little pass sun up.”
On Tuesday Jordan shared on Instagram that he plans to change the name and apologized.
“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 celebrated & shine a positive light on,” he began his mea culpa. “Last few days has been a lot of listening. A lot of learning & engaging in countless community conversations.”
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