Yet another food brand is bowing down to political correctness and is removing a symbol used for generations. Cream of Wheat has announced they are removing the Black Chef character from all of their packaging. This comes at a point when many food companies are considering, or have already removed, what some are calling imagery that supports and relies on stereotypes of a racial nature.
A spokesperson for B&G, the makers of Cream of Wheat, spoke to Fox News, stating: “While research indicates the image may be based upon an actual Chicago chef named Frank White, it reminds some consumers of earlier depictions they find offensive.
The food company stated it had been reviewing the branding of Cream of Wheat as far back as June. The reason stated for the review was due to the criticism B&G was receiving in respect to its imagery on its packaging, which many found was reminiscent of what they considered offensive racism from the Jim Crow era.
Fox News reported that the Cream of Wheat brand dates back to 1893 when at that time, the packaging used a character of a Black chef by the name of “Rastus.” The same name was used in ads and stories such as “Uncle Remus” from the 1920s, which at that time presented the mascot as barely literate.
In June, B&G released the statement that: “B&G Foods unequivocally stands against prejudice and injustice of any kind.” A spokesperson for the company also offered that B&G was pledging to initiate a new philanthropic that will serve to not only support diversity but also inclusion in the culinary communities.
With this in mind, the company is working in conjunction with various culinary schools, offering scholarships and other initiatives, in the effort to help both African-American and Latinx students alike.
Cream of Wheat is one of only several food companies that have seen criticism for what is being referred to as stereotypes of a racial nature, in the wake of racially fueled protests over the recent unjust deaths of both George Floyd and Breonna Taylor—both Black Americans.
B&G announcement has come during the same week that another food company, Mars Inc, has announced that they will be rebranding one of their products as well. Uncle Ben’s Rice will now be known as Ben’s Original.
Will the rebranding of food packaging assuage that many people on the topic of racism?