Mars Inc. renamed Uncle Ben’s rice in an attempt to make a stance with the Black community.
The Virginia-based company is also removing the famous image of the white-haired Black man that has been criticized for years for being connected to a racist stereotype.
“We’re still in the process of deciding on what our new iconography will be, but are committed to ensuring that it will be truly reflective of the inclusive future we are striving to create for Ben’s Original,” a Mars Food spokesperson said in a statement.
The new name, Ben’s Original, was unveiled Wednesday afternoon in response to a nationwide uproar about the killing of George Floyd.
In addition to changing the name and logo, Mars announced its partnership with the National Urban League to provide educational opportunities to 7,500 aspiring chefs in Greenville, Mississippi, where the Ben’s brand has been produced for more than four decades.
“We are not just changing our name and the image on the package, but also taking action to enhance inclusion and equity,” the company said.
A number of other consumer brands have followed the same lead. Quaker Oats pledged to change the Aunt Jemima logo, and Eskimo Pie ice cream bars said it will change the brand’s name.