UNCLE BEN'S have unveiled their new name and logo following criticism of their previous branding.
The ricer-makers have announced that going forward, they will be known as Ben's Original, and have removed their famous logo of a black farmer, which they've had for over 70 years.
"We listened. We learned. We're changing," the company said in a tweet on Wednesday.
Pressure had been mounting on the company over suggestions that their branding was racist, or at the very least perpetuated negative stereotypes about African Americans.
The company's owner, Mars, said it understood the "inequities" associated with the product, and would be rolling out their new look Ben's Original in 2021.
They've reportedly come up with a new logo to replace the old one, but it is yet to be released.
We listened. And we learned. Moving forward, Uncle Ben's will be known as Ben’s Original™. Read our full statement to find out more about our brand's new purpose to create opportunities that offer everyone a seat at the table: https://t.co/h5iKGW4fKP pic.twitter.com/AN52LxHk7v
— Ben's Original UK (@bensoriginaluk) September 23, 2020
"Over several weeks, we have listened to thousands of consumers, our own associates and other stakeholders from around the world," said Fiona Dawson, a Mars executive.
"We understand the inequities that were associated with the name and face of the previous brand and, as we announced in June, we have committed to change."
The news has been met by a mixed reaction from the public - some congratulating the company for taking a progressive step towards achieving racial equality, and others scoffing at the preposterousness of such a needlessly unhelpful 'woke' PR move.
"So, Uncle Ben's want to fight for black people by removing the face of a black man form their product? ... Makes no sense whatsoever," one Twitter user wrote.
"This is getting ridiculous! How is their old logo racist? It's celebrating a black farmer, not slavery!" Another wrote.
"Good move, glad to see companies taking responsibility and making daring decisions like this," said a supporter of the change.
The firm have said in the past that Uncle Ben was the name of a fictional character that was first used in 1946 as a reference to an African-American Texan rice farmer.
It said the image it used "was a beloved Chicago chef and waiter named Frank Brown".