Uncle Ben`s owner Mars is planning to change the rice maker`s ``brand identity`` — one of several food companies planning to overhaul logos and packaging that have long been criticized... Who's Online | Find Members | Private Messages
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Uncle Ben's, Aunt Jemima among brands to be retired due to racist stereotypes

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24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 12:59:54 PM EST (GMT-5)
Uncle Ben's owner Mars is planning to change the rice maker's "brand identity" — one of several food companies planning to overhaul logos and packaging that have long been criticized for perpetuating harmful racial stereotypes.
In a statement on its website Wednesday, Mars wrote that "now is the right time to evolve the Uncle Ben's brand, including its visual brand identity, which we will do."
"We don't yet know what the exact changes and timing will be, but we are evaluating all possibilities," Mars added.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/17/busi...
24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 3:15:18 PM EST (GMT-5)
This is f*cking ridiculous. Was ANYBODY complaining about Aunt Jemima or Uncle Ben?
24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 3:17:39 PM EST (GMT-5)
Are you really this upset about eating rice with a different face on the box?
24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 3:23:19 PM EST (GMT-5)
What was it? About 10-15 years ago that Mars was claiming that the image on their rice was of their founder? It's like they knew it was wrong then but doubled down on it. Sounds familiar for some reason.
24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 3:51:39 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Thursday 6/18/20 - 3:17:39 PM Courtbebe wrote:
Are you really this upset about eating rice with a different face on the box?


Depends on the 'different' face, doesn't it?
24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 4:09:24 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Thursday 6/18/20 - 3:23:19 PM postallbear wrote:
What was it? About 10-15 years ago that Mars was claiming that the image on their rice was of their founder? It's like they knew it was wrong then but doubled down on it. Sounds familiar for some reason.


I think you might be thinking of their earlier attempt to rebrand the Uncle Ben character by 'promoting' him to 'Company Chairman'...

Looks like around 2007 timeframe:

https://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/30/...
24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 4:27:35 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Thursday 6/18/20 - 3:23:19 PM postallbear wrote:
What was it? About 10-15 years ago that Mars was claiming that the image on their rice was of their founder? It's like they knew it was wrong then but doubled down on it. Sounds familiar for some reason.
On Thursday 6/18/20 - 4:09:24 PM CowDung wrote:
I think you might be thinking of their earlier attempt to rebrand the Uncle Ben character by 'promoting' him to 'Company Chairman'... Looks like around 2007 timeframe: [link]

Thank you. Yes, that's what I was thinking of.

Instead of changing the logo, they promoted the old character. Wonder if a POC got a raise and a promotion on this. Hmmmm. Guessing not.
24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 4:30:51 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Thursday 6/18/20 - 3:17:39 PM Courtbebe wrote:
Are you really this upset about eating rice with a different face on the box?

I'm upset, first of all, because there's no need to do this, because they are catering to a small group of people who are easily offended by everything. There's nothing wrong with that picture. It's not degrading or racist or stereotypical or any other stupid thing they might be claiming. Secondly, the picture is actually of a real black person named Frank Brown who was beloved. It was in his honor that they chose his likeness for the box. Probably because they didn't have a picture of the black rice farmer who was the real Uncle Ben.

24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 4:31:08 PM EST (GMT-5)
From the link:
"According to the Uncle Ben's website, the name was first used in 1946 in reference to a black farmer known as Uncle Ben who excelled in rice-growing. The man depicted in the logo is a "a beloved Chicago chef and waiter named Frank Brown."
24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 4:37:02 PM EST (GMT-5)
Aunt Jemima wasn't a real person, but so what? She was part of our family growing up when we would make some of her delicious pancakes. Everybody loved her.
24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 5:21:25 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Thursday 6/18/20 - 4:31:08 PM Noldor wrote:
From the link: "According to the Uncle Ben's website, the name was first used in 1946 in reference to a black farmer known as Uncle Ben who excelled in rice-growing. The man depicted in the logo is a "a beloved Chicago chef and waiter named Frank Brown."

Using "Uncle" or "boy" instead of "Mr" or "sir" was one way of putting Black men down.
Why wasn't it called Mr Brown's rice since that is his likeness?
24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 5:41:40 PM EST (GMT-5)
...that's not an issue with the image, it's with the brand name.

I think the concern is if we getting to the point where people of color cannot be used for branding images at all- - which seems to be unfortunate for racial equality.
24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 5:47:01 PM EST (GMT-5)
Maybe you can cut out the old package labeling and affix them to new packages of rice and pancake mix. Maybe that will help with the taste and your hysteria.
24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 6:21:49 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Thursday 6/18/20 - 5:47:01 PM Courtbebe wrote:
Maybe you can cut out the old package labeling and affix them to new packages of rice and pancake mix. Maybe that will help with the taste and your hysteria.


What are you even talking about?
24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 6:23:50 PM EST (GMT-5)
Noldor is very upset about the change in packaging. Maybe he would feel better if he saved some old packaging to cover up the new, offensive packaging.
24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 6:26:09 PM EST (GMT-5)
It's the image and the name associated together.
It's good for companies to review this and see where they could make improvements.
24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 6:26:43 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Thursday 6/18/20 - 6:23:50 PM Courtbebe wrote:
Noldor is very upset about the change in packaging. Maybe he would feel better if he saved some old packaging to cover up the new, offensive packaging.


The only one claiming that Noldor is 'very upset' is you...'
24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 6:29:18 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Thursday 6/18/20 - 6:26:09 PM postallbear wrote:
It's the image and the name associated together. It's good for companies to review this and see where they could make improvements.


Fair point- - companies should periodically review their branding and make improvements if they believe them to be necessary.

24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 6:30:46 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Thursday 6/18/20 - 6:23:50 PM Courtbebe wrote:
Noldor is very upset about the change in packaging. Maybe he would feel better if he saved some old packaging to cover up the new, offensive packaging.
On Thursday 6/18/20 - 6:26:43 PM CowDung wrote:
The only one claiming that Noldor is 'very upset' is you...'


Sorry- - I guess he really is upset. I must have missed his other comment.
24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 6:31:45 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Thursday 6/18/20 - 4:30:51 PM Noldor wrote:
I'm upset, first of all, because there's no need to do this, because they are catering to a small group of people who are easily offended by everything.

24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 6:34:44 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Thursday 6/18/20 - 6:26:09 PM postallbear wrote:
It's the image and the name associated together. It's good for companies to review this and see where they could make improvements.
On Thursday 6/18/20 - 6:29:18 PM CowDung wrote:
Fair point- - companies should periodically review their branding and make improvements if they believe them to be necessary.

And i believe that to be what the companies involved are doing. One could argue t that they should have done it years ago but why have an advertising logo, campaign or slogan that's going to offend perspective customers?
24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 6:39:47 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Thursday 6/18/20 - 6:34:44 PM postallbear wrote:
And i believe that to be what the companies involved are doing. One could argue t that they should have done it years ago but why have an advertising logo, campaign or slogan that's going to offend perspective customers?


They are even rethinking the cream of wheat guy- - not sure what would be offensive about him.


24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 6:50:34 PM EST (GMT-5)


Btw, Noldor’s history of the brand seems a bit misleading to me

First, the brand isn’t named Uncle Ben in honor of an Uncle Ben. It’s named Uncle Ben to capitalize on the reputation of a black rice farmer named Ben. Ben was not employed by the company nor did he supply rice to the company. In fact, he never received any money from the company. He just had a reputation for growing good rice that the company wanted to take advantage of that.

Second, Frank Brown, whose likeness is used on the brand’s packaging, wasn’t chosen as a way of honoring Brown. The founders of Uncle Ben’s saw Brown’s portrait when they were having a meeting at the restaurant where Brown worked. Brown wasn’t selected because the founders had any great fondness for him. He was selected because putting black people on food packaging was really popular at the time because it
24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 6:50:58 PM EST (GMT-5)
The company that makes Cream of Wheat used to refer to that chef (which again, was modeled on a real guy) as "Rastus." Which is a (now pretty antiquated) derogatory term for black men.
24 days ago - Thursday 6/18/20 - 6:51:02 PM EST (GMT-5)
made consumers feel like the food was coming right out of a kitchen run by black people/servants. It was done to make more money.

And postal is right. Uncle (Ben) and Aunt (Jemima) we’re common titles because white people didn’t want to call them Mr. or Mrs.

It’s worth noting, too, that people aren’t just finding offense with Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima. The NAACP tried to push from branding changes in the past. A few years ago Uncle Ben’s even changed the character’s clothes from servant clothes to a suit in an effort to rebrand Uncle Ben as a CEO/chairman.

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