Uncle Ben's rice to change branding due to racist history
Uncle Ben's has become the latest company to announce changes to their branding amid calls to end systemic racism against Black people.
Mars Inc., the parent company behind the famous rice, declared that now is the right time to "evolve" the brand.
"We know we have a responsibility to take a stand in helping to put an end to racial bias and injustices," said the organization in a press release issued on Wednesday, June 17.
“Racism has no place in society," they continued. "We stand in solidarity with the Black community, our Associates and our partners in the fight for social justice. We know to make the systemic change needed, it’s going to take a collective effort from all of us — individuals, communities and organizations of all sizes around the world.”
The company has faced criticism for using the image of a Black man's face on packaging along with the with the term "uncle," which was used to avoid referring to Black men as "Mr." during the Jim Crow era.
The announcement follows a similar decision by Quaker Oats to re-brand their Aunt Jemima products due to racial stereotyping.
The Aunt Jemima logo features a Black woman who was originally dressed as a minstrel character.
The company said it will remove the image of Aunt Jemima from maple syrups, pancake mixes and other products starting at the end of 2020.
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