Uncle Ben’s Rice Rebranding To Ben’s Original After Outcry Over Racial Stereotyping
Mars has announced that, starting next year, the rice company currently known as “Uncle Ben’s” will be rebranded as “Ben’s Original.” The change is in an attempt to get rid of imagery that some have deemed racist, as the Uncle Ben name and logo are said to fit within the historical American “Uncle Tom” stereotype.
We listened. And we learned. Moving forward, Uncle Ben's will be known as Ben’s Original™. Read our full statement to find out more about our brand's new purpose to create opportunities that offer everyone a seat at the table: https://t.co/0tSE0lnMa1 pic.twitter.com/741JQU1qTI
— Uncle Ben's USA (@UncleBens) September 23, 2020
In tandem with the logo change, the company also plans to start several community outreach programs that are centered around “enhancing educational opportunities” and helping sustain access to fresh food. Mars Inc. has also said they hope to promote racial minorities in U.S. management positions.
The public response has been mixed, to say the least. Some praise the change, agreeing with the company that it’s a move towards progress.
Great business move. This is a massive privately held company that understands American demographics have changed. Doing the right thing is no longer optional. 💯
— Chuck Wilson (@clwjr) September 23, 2020
Well done. Now take it worldwide please!
— natasha molar (@missmolar) September 23, 2020
The overwhelming majority of the response, however, has been negative. Some people don’t understand the change, and others think that it’s unnecessary pandering, but many seem to think that removing Uncle Ben from the branding is backwards.
As a black man, I am offended. Change it back pls.
— ZUBY: (@ZubyMusic) September 23, 2020
I used to look at old Uncle Ben and think: he looks lovely. Nice bloke. Sort of fella you’d happily chat to. Never occurred to me that was pure white supremacy. And now they’ve cancelled a black man. To help end racism. Christ, I think I need a drink 😩
— Martin Daubney (@MartinDaubney) September 23, 2020
Uncle’s Ben’s Rice is now called Ben’s Original
I ain’t eating that sh** 🤣
— W.E. Dupree (@WayneDupreeShow) September 23, 2020
— Ranjit Singh (@Ranjit_Singh1) September 23, 2020