Marketers across the country are replacing racist depictions of stereotypical blacks on their food products with more authentic blacks in an effort to fight racism.
“As we work to make progress toward racial equality through several initiatives, we also must take a hard look at our portfolio of brands and ensure they reflect our values and meet our consumers’ expectations,” PepsiCo Marketing Director Lang Delang said. “That means swapping out inauthentic racial stereotypes like the Aunt Jemima picture with an authentic African American woman like Nancy Pelosi with a Kente cloth.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said she was, “honored to represent her people on the syrup bottle.”
Mars, which owns Uncle Ben’s brand rice products is also making a brand overhaul.
“The picture associated with Uncle Ben is a stereotype that doesn’t represent today’s black demographic. Chuck Schumer with a Kente cloth and a face mask is much more representative of the people we’re trying to pander to,” Mars Spokesperson Philbert von Minkeyballs said.
“When you look at the old Uncle Ben’s brand, it’s really about cultural appropriation, which is one of the great evils of the modern world. Really the only way to correct it is to use a picture of Chuck Schumer wearing an accessory associated with traditional Ghana tribes,” Minkeyballs added.
Calls to change the brand didn’t begin in 2020 but intensified amid protests over racial injustices intended to generate division in a major election year. Branding was an issue in 2016 also, but companies say that this election year is much more important.
“If we lose the black vote now, we may never get it back,” Pelosi said.