It looks like “Uncle Ben” Reis is a thing of the past and is now called “Ben’s Original”. The company announced the name change and also revealed that the picture of the elderly black had been removed from the box.
According to the New York Times, this is because widespread anti-racism protests have shifted focus back to companies that have been selling their products with racist imagery for decades.
Released a statement, Ben’s Originals said, “We understand the inequalities associated with the name and face of the previous brand and, as we announced in June, we are committed to change. We’re going to change our name to “Ben’s Original” and remove the image on our packaging to create a more equitable iconography. This change signals our drive to create a more inclusive future while maintaining our commitment to producing the world’s best rice. “
The statement went on to say, “Not only are we changing our name and image on the package, but we’re also taking steps to improve inclusion and equity. This brings with it a new brand purpose to create opportunities that give everyone a seat at the table. Our community outreach programs ensure that underserved communities have access to the nutritious meals we all deserve. We will also help culinary entrepreneurs of all colors get educational opportunities so their ideas and voices can be appreciated by all. This work will begin in the US, where we will partner with the National Urban League to support aspiring black chefs through scholarships, and then expand our efforts to support other underserved communities around the world. “
As we reported earlier, Quaker Oats announced back in June that they were changing the name and image of their “Aunt Jemima” brand due to racist stereotypes. Their decision led to the discussion of other brands like Uncle Bens changing their names and pictures.
We heard. And we learned. In the future, Uncle Bens will be known as Ben’s Original ™. Read our full statement to learn more about our brand’s new purpose of creating opportunities that give everyone a seat at the table: https://t.co/0tSE0lnMa1 pic.twitter.com/741JQU1qTI
– Uncle Bens USA (@UncleBens) September 23, 2020
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