Uncle Ben’s rice will change its name and branding after the company that makes it was accused of racial stereotyping.
Parent company Mars has revealed Uncle Ben’s will change its name to Ben’s Original.
The current packaging features fictional character Uncle Ben.
The name was first used in 1946 as a reference to an African-American rice farmer from Texas.
However, the image on the rice packets features “a beloved Chicago chef and waiter named Frank Brown”, Mars said.
When will new Uncle Ben’s rice packets appear in store?
Mars Food president Fiona Dawson said: “We listened to our associates and our customers and the time is right to make meaningful changes across society.
“When you are making these changes, you are not going to please everyone. But it’s about doing the right thing, not the easy thing.”
However Brits have take to Twitter to blast the change as “ridiculous” and said the move was nothing more than a “publicity stunt”.
Brits react to Uncle Ben’s news
“This is getting ridiculous now! So what do we call the Black Country or black cabs or even Blackpool? Can anyone explain this?” one tweeted.
Another said: “Really? No more Uncle Ben’s rice. I mean, come on.”
“Good grief, what a worthless publicity stunt,” slammed another.
“I don’t see how #UncleBens rice is racist at all,” said another.
So long Uncle Ben. Another victim of the ‘woke’ generation. I for one will miss you.
“Good grief! Uncle Ben‘s rice name changed to Ben‘s Original after ‘racial bias’ and ‘backlash’,” another tweeted.
“So long Uncle Ben. Another victim of the ‘woke’ generation. I for one will miss you,” said another.
New initiatives to support the rebrand
Mars has also revealed a number of new initiatives to support the rebrand.
It’s planning to invest $ 2million in culinary scholarships for aspiring black chefs.
Another $2.5m will be ploughed into nutritional and education programs for students in Greenville, Mississippi – the majority African-American city where the rice brand has been produced for more than 40 years.
Head to our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and join the debate.