Uncle Ben's logo to 'evolve'
Uncle Ben's rice products are to rebrand as a result of the Black Lives Matter movement
Mars, the company which owns Uncle Ben's rice, has said it will 'evolve' its 'visual brand'. This follows very quickly from the news that Aunt Jemima's syrups and pancake mix will go through a rebrand.
In a statement, Mars said that 'now is the right time' to change the Uncle Ben's brand. It does not yet know the changes it will make, or when it will happen, but all possibilities are on the table.
In a press release, Mars stated, “Racism has no place in society. We stand in solidarity with the Black community, our associates, and our partners in the fight for social justice. We know to make the systemic change needed, it’s going to take a collective effort from all of us — individuals, communities and organizations of all sizes around the world.”
The Uncle Ben's logo hasn't changed much over the years.
The 'Uncle Ben' character is depicted as an older African-American man wearing a bowtie, and references a black male rice farmer known by the same name. The character was apparently modelled on a man named Frank Brown that worked as a chef and waiter in Chicago.
The name 'Uncle Ben' was first used in 1946. In 1971, the image was removed from packaging, before coming back again in 1983.
I understand that many companies want to make a statement to show support to the Black Lives Matter movement (and other causes) and to hopefully help direct change in the world. Do you guys think that the removal of these characters is the right response to show equality and respond to racism?