Celebrities launching their own alcohol brands has become an increasingly common phenomenon over the last few years, and some have fared exponentially better than others. Ryan Reynolds sold his Aviation gin to Diageo in a deal that could be worth anywhere up to $610 million, which is a huge amount of money, but still significantly lower than the reported $1 billion the company stumped up to acquire George Clooney’s tequila brand Casamigos.
Dwayne Johnson also got in on the tequila business after launching Teremana, Snoop Dogg has gotten involved in vodka, gin and Brazilian liquor cachaça, Idris Elba has his own range of high quality wines, Dan Akroyd co-founded Crystal Head Vodka well over a decade ago, Breaking Bad duo Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul partnered up to create Dos Hombres mezcal, and the list goes on and on.
Unfortunately, Michael B. Jordan hasn’t experienced the same sort of success, after backlash from Caribbean communities saw him issue an apology and change the name of his J’Ouvert rum, just a few days after initially making the big announcement, and you can check out his statement below.
“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.””
The real trouble began when he tried to trademark the term J’Ouvert, a Caribbean festival associated with the liberation of slaves. Naturally, a lot of people took issue with the Black Panther star attempting to use the term for financial gain, leading to an online petition opposing the filing of the trademark with the United States Patent Office, which gained tens of thousands of signatures. Michael B. Jordan at least managed to get ahead of the game, but it’s brought some bad publicity for a brand that’s now being reworked from the ground up.