2 July 2020
Naked News, Wednesday July 1, 2020
Welcome to Naked News and a very happy Canada Day to all our Canadian viewers. If you’ve been following ANY news at all, you know race and racism is a hot topic these days, with massive protests across the US and around the world. But the discussions aren’t just in the streets – they’re also in the boardrooms. Eila Adams is here now to look at what some companies are doing to address the need for change.
The Black Lives Matter movement is primarily about overt systemic racism in things like policing and employment. But it’s also bringing more attention to some of the less-obvious issues, like institutions and monuments that celebrate history’s racists and oppressors. It’s also shining a light on something that many people might not have really even
considered – brand logos!
Recently, several companies have announced they’d be reviewing, and likely changing, some high-profile, longstanding branding.
Maybe the biggest is Aunt Jemima, a hundred and thirty year old icon. Quaker Foods finally acknowledged the character was based on the racist “Mammy” stereotype. Because it was – don’t fall for the viral posts falsely claiming the original Aunt Jemima was a wealthy entrepreneur.
Mars announced that they would be “evolving” Uncle Ben’s visual brand identity. And Cream of Wheat will be reviewing their “Chef” image, which was originally a minstrel show character.
We can also credit the BLM movement for getting other racially offensive names removed. Eskimo Pies will be renamed. And Australia’s Allen candy maker will be changing the names for their popular Red Skins and Chicos lolly brands.
These might not seem like major steps towards racial equality. But every thing we do has an effect. Seeing offensive caricatures normalizes them and makes them seem okay. They’re not, and we’re glad to see them disappearing.
Now we’re waiting for the NFL’s Washington Redskins and MLB’s Cleveland Indians, among others, to follow in progress’ footsteps. Because no, “tradition” isn’t a good enough excuse any more. Get on board, or be left behind. For Naked News, I’m Eila Adams.