The Real Reason People Are Upset About Michael B. Jordan's Rum

Several weeks ago, Kendall Jenner faced a massive public backlash after the celebrity promoted a video for her new tequila that showed her sporting a hairstyle and clothing style associated with Mexican culture interspersed with shots of farmhands harvesting agave (via People). After a downpour of criticism, Jenner tearfully apologized on an episode of "Keeping up with the Kardashians" and claimed she "felt really bad." Michael B. Jordan and his new rum brand now face their own scandal after critics have accused the star of cultural appropriation.

Jordan has a new rum brand hitting store shelves called J'Ouvert, and according to photos from the liquor's launch party, the name serves as a tribute to the Caribbean carnival celebration J'Ouvert (via Buzzfeed News). The rum packaging reads: "Derived from the Antellian Creole French term meaning 'daybreak,' J'Ouvert originated in the pre-dawn streets of Trinidad, as celebrations of emancipation combined with Carnival season to serve as the festival's informal commencements." The problem for many was with Jordan, who has no clear connection to the area. Followers on social media jumped on the situation and called out the star for the naming decision, causing a scandal for Jordan and his new liquor.

The issue with the rum brand's name

The name has had major implications for those who reside in Trinidad and Tobago. According to Newsday, the country's Minister of Trade and Industry, Paula Gopee-Scoon, said the name was "of extreme concern" due to copyright issues inherent in naming a rum after a traditional festival. Many fear that the generation-old celebration would fall under intellectual property rights laws and couldn't continue to use its name. While officials scramble to make sure the J'Ouvert festival stays safe, fans online have lambasted Michael B. Jordan with comments such as, "Michael B Jordan never been to jouvert or mass. But has the nerve to want to profit off West Indian culture and call it Jouvert Rum...." as D.D. Aesthetic posted on Twitter. "Imagine trying to explain what J'Ouvert is to someone and they go 'oh Michael B. Jordan rum," user Nika posted.

Nicki Minaj posted to Instagram: "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."

According to BuzzFeed News, Jordan has announced the brand will change to a new name amid criticism. "Our intention was never to offend or hurt a culture we love and respect," Jordan posted to Instagram stories.