Social media was ablaze over the weekend after Michael B. Jordan trademarked the word 'J'Ouvert' - which is deeply rooted in Trinbagonian and Caribbean culture - for his new rum line.
The Creed and Black Panther star launched his new venture this weekend, and it was met with accusations of 'cultural appropriation' and an online petition to stop the trademark, which has nearly 10,000 signatures in two days.
The name J'Ouvert originates from the French word 'jour ouvert', meaning day break or morning, and signals the start of Carnival, which began in the 1800s and is still practiced globally by people in and from the Caribbean.
Brooklyn and Boston are the among the largest Carnival celebrations in the Northeast United States.
Many critics on social media took offense to Jordan's trademark filing and took aim at one particular line that says, 'The wording 'J'OUVERT' has no meaning in a foreign language.'
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Actor Michael B. Jordan launched his 'J'Ouvert' rum line over the weekend which was critcized for cultural appropriation
Michael B. Jordan, picuted here at the BACARDI Mixology Lab on February 13, 2019 in New York City, announced his new venture in an Instagram story over the weekend
An online petition to stop the trademark of the word 'J'Ouvert' has almost 10,000 signatures
Twitter user @lesliemac said, 'Michael B Jordan has launched a rum brand called J'ouvert & has filed a trademark for the word J'ouvert. In his filing he says the word 'has no meaning in any language.' I am livid. Black Capitalism is still Capitalism.'
The petition calls for the filing to be dismissed, and for Jordan 'to do the right thing by calling this a loss.'
In the online petition on change.org, organizer Jay Blessed said, 'We are not a powerless people! We are a people rich in culture, history and love.'
'It's time we love ourselves enough to stop the sale of our culture to foreign entities that do not respect or value our global contributions, and who do not support and uphold our countries in respectful, long-lasting, tangible and verifiable ways!'
Twitter user @ashoncrawley said, 'You cannot own a tradition. You cannot trademark a tradition. capitalism pretends that these things can be private property and attempts to manage and financialize tradition. and it will always always always be vulgar to do so.
Many people took to Twitter to vent their anger over Jordan's new venture
Jordan, pictured here at the 51st NAACP Image Awards at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in February 2020, has starred in many movies included Creed and Black Panther
Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon told Trinidad and Tobago Newsday the issue was 'of extreme concern' owing to the intellectual property question.
Gopsee-Scoon told the news outlet that they'll gather information first and then work with the intellectual property office of the Ministry of the Attorney General.
'We'll do the necessary investigation and, as always, seek to support anything that is Trinidad but at the same time protect what is ours,' Gopsee-Scoon told Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.
'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, and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. We all have an interest. Trinidad and Tobago is our interest.'