‘Eskimo Pies’ has become the latest brand making an effort to change its images following the outrage that ensued over Aunt Jemima syrup.
The frozen treat, which is owned by parent company Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, released a statement Friday announcing it would change the name, the New York Post reported.
“We are committed to being a part of the solution on racial equality, and recognize the term is derogatory,” the company said in the statement. “This move is part of a larger review to ensure our company and brands reflect our people values,” it added.
“Along with the name change, the company will alter the treat’s marketing scheme, which traditionally featured a young boy dressed as an Eskimo in a snowy environment,” the Post reported.
Last week, Quaker Oats announced it would change the name of Aunt Jemima due to a “racial stereotype.”
“The brand, founded in 1889, is built on images of a black female character that have often been criticized as offensive,” The New York Times reported. “Even after going through several redesigns — pearl earrings and a lace collar were added in 1989 — Aunt Jemima was still seen by many as a symbol of slavery.”
Kristin Kroepfl, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Quaker Foods North America released a statement about the brand:
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. We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype. While work has been done over the years to update the brand in a manner intended to be appropriate and respectful, we realize those changes are not enough.
We acknowledge the brand has not progressed enough to appropriately reflect the confidence, warmth and dignity that we would like it to stand for today. We are starting by removing the image and changing the name. We will continue the conversation by gathering diverse perspectives from both our organization and the Black community to further evolve the brand and make it one everyone can be proud to have in their pantry.
Aunt Jemima, the Times reported, was based on an old minstrel song.
After the Aunt Jemima controversy, the great-grandson of the woman whose face adorns the syrup bottles released a statement condemning Quaker for erasing his great-grandmother’s history.
“This is an injustice for me and my family,” Larnell Evans Sr., 66, told Patch. “This is part of my history, sir. The racism they talk about, using images from slavery, that comes from the other side — white people. This company profits off images of our slavery. And their answer is to erase my great-grandmother’s history. A black female. … It hurts.”
After Aunt Jemima announced its name change, Uncle Ben’s Rice announced it would remove the image of a smiling black man from its packaging, saying in a statement, “we know we have a responsibility to take a stand in helping to put an end to racial bias and injustices.”
The makers of Cream of Wheat also announced they would remove the image of the black chef from their product.
“We understand there are concerns regarding the Chef image, and we are committed to evaluating our packaging and will proactively take steps to ensure that we and our brands do not inadvertently contribute to systemic racism,” the company said.
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