MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – Quaker Oats is withdrawing its Aunt Jemima syrup and products because of its ties to racial stereotyping.
It gets rid of the controversial logo and also changes the name.
This all happens after 131 years since the image, based on slavery, was created.
“I think when you have brands that want to be a slice of life and want to be authentic, when you have brands that perpetuate stereotypes, that doesn’t succeed,” said Ebony Ssali, chief brand and development officer. creation of Ssali Media Group.
Although her image has evolved over time, Aunt Jemima was created as a black woman initially dressed as a minstrel character.
“Representation is essential for people to form their own self-perception and self-esteem, and traditionally in this country, black Americans have been given their identities by other groups, especially white Americans,” said David Bowles, Chief Strategy Officer of Creative Marketing Resources.
“So when you see negative portrayals, caricatures, people who don’t understand why blackface is problematic, the problem in all of these cases is that black people are portrayed in a certain role that limits who we are,” a- he continued.
Quaker’s parent company, PepsiCo, said it was looking closely at its portfolio and the values of its customers.
“And I think they know their bottom line has to reflect dignity, inclusion and diversity or they’ll lose that dollar,” Ssali said.
Other companies have now pledged to change, including Uncle Ben’s Rice and Mrs Butterworth.
But while this is happening, experts hope it goes beyond just updating a brand.
“I challenge a lot of these organizations to go the extra mile to say we’re really going to invest in black wealth creation and economic opportunity,” Bowles said.
New packaging on Aunt Jemima products is expected to appear later this year.
A new name will come later.