Cream of Wheat Will Officially Remove the Smiling Black Chef from Their Packaging

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Multiple companies are changing the names and images associated with some of their popular food products in response to the Black Lives Matter protests. Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s have already announced changes, and now there’s another one – Cream of Wheat.

While the name Cream of Wheat sounds simple enough, it’s not the name that’s concerning. It’s the image of the black chief in the white chief’s uniform that some find offensive. This image has been around for about 100 years.

The original image of the Cream of Wheat logo depicted a black man who was much more of a racial stereotype. According to CNN, the original image was a caricature of black Americans named “Rastus.” This unattractive mascot spoke broken English and was not very bright.

Rastus was replaced by the current image over 100 years ago. Although never officially registered by the company, the current image is said to be based on a black Chicago chef named Frank White.

White told friends and family that he was the model for Cream of White, and when he died in 1935, his obituary even said that he had “posed for an advertisement for a well-known breakfast food.”

Regardless of the origin of the image, Cream of Wheat is committed to not perpetuating racist stereotypes. In a statement, B&G Foods, the company that makes Cream of Wheat, said, “We understand that there are concerns about the chef’s image, and we are committed to evaluating our packaging and taking proactive steps to ensure that we and our brands do not inadvertently contribute to systemic racism. B&G Foods unequivocally opposes bias and injustice of any kind.”

Last week, the company officially announced that the chef’s image will be removed from packaging because “it reminds some consumers of past depictions they find offensive.”

Do you think B&G Foods is making the right decision by changing or removing the Chef image from Cream of Wheat packaging?