'Corporates who pretend to be woke are not your friend' warns Maajid Nawaz

13 September 2020, 16:23

By Seán Hickey

In a powerful moment, Maajid Nawaz warned that companies using 'slogans and symbols' to seem 'woke' are not to be trusted in the social justice movement.

Maajid Nawaz's claims came off the back of news that Black British actor John Boyega was removed from an advertisement shown in China he wrote and directed, which pushed the company involved in the storm to apologise.

He saw this as a wider problem that didn't just lie at the feet of Jo Malone. "The minute your market dictates otherwise" he began, directing his view towards Hollywood now, "you're literally whitewashing black characters out of all of your films."

Maajid wondered: "If it's not a minstrel show, what is it?"

He saw it a disgrace there are companies "parroting a certain language to pull wool over our eyes while the back-end of their business is doing the exact opposite."

"Corporates who pretend to be woke are not your friend" he warned listeners.

British actor John Boyega was removed from an ad he wrote and directed for beauty brand Jo Malone
British actor John Boyega was removed from an ad he wrote and directed for beauty brand Jo Malone. Picture: PA

Maajid expanded on his point about John Boyega, noting that his character in Star Wars wasn't developed, which Maajid thought was because Disney wanted the movie to succeed in China.

"We who are concerned with this," he said, "must stop thinking slogans and symbols stop the problem."

"The empty gestures and slogans don't address the problem, they make it worse."