Business & Economics

American Brands Face Pressure Over Racist Caricatures And Logos

BP World Bureau | Jun 18 2020 06:42:10 PM
Image credits: pinterest

The ongoing 'Black Lives Matter' movement is marking history in terms of reckoning of systemic racism that has been perpetuated and Caucasians recognising their privileges. 

Amidst of all this, the major American brands are being called out from various quarters for its racist depiction of African Americans and caricature.

B&G Foods has been under fire for the racist origins of the mascot for Cream Of Wheat, for featuring the chef character Rastus that has been featured on its packaging since 1890. The name is widely considered derogatory to black men and B&G said that it committed to proactively take steps to ensure the brand does not contribute to systemic racism.

For the racist caricature of an African-American woman, PepsiCo announced that it would replace its Aunt Jemima pancake mix and syrup with a completely new brand.

Similarly, Mars announced a makeover for Uncle Ben’s brand, saying it would change the “visual brand” of its rice.

Conagra Brands said it would carry out a review of its pancake syrup brand Mrs. Butterworth’s. Although the brand intended to show a loving grandma, critics pointed out the character’s portrayal in ads of being rooted in slavery-era mammy stereotypes and matronly-shaped syrup bottles.

'Black Lives Matter' movement began in 2013 after an African-American boy named Trayvon Martin was killed by a Caucasian officer named George Zimmerman. 

Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges but the movement received push.

The murder of African American named George Floyd by a Caucasian officer named Derek Chauvin lead to the nationwide outburst.

Especially when the officer was not charged with murder, until the protests began and the video of the murder became viral. 

African Americans were stereotyped and racially profiled as potential burglars, rapists, murderers, or gangsters. 

White officers who kill them often get away with murder if they cite self-defense. Aty the same time, Caucasian criminals tend to get lenient or no jail term for brutal crimes like rape, gangrape, murder, etc. due to systemic racism.