Rice brand Uncle Ben’s is “evolving” its visual identity in an effort to address racial bias and injustices, parent company Mars, Incorporated said Wednesday.
“As a global brand, we know we have a responsibility to take a stand in helping to put an end to racial bias and injustices,” a Mars spokesperson said in a statement to HuffPost.
The statement continued: “As we listen to the voices of consumers, especially in the Black community, and to the voices of our Associates worldwide, we recognize that one way we can do this is by evolving the Uncle Ben’s brand, including its visual brand identity.”
The exact changes and timing are still being decided, but “all possibilities” are being evaluated, the spokesperson said.
Uncle Ben’s logo features an image of a Black rice grower. The Uncle Ben character, which first appeared in the early 1940s, has long been criticized as racist. The title appears to reflect how “white Southerners once used ‘uncle’ and ‘aunt’ as honorifics for older blacks because they refused to say ‘Mr.’ and ‘Mrs.,’” according to The New York Times.
Aunt Jemima, a pancake syrup and mix brand, announced earlier Wednesday that it will retire its name and logo after acknowledging it’s based on “a racial stereotype.”
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