ConAgra Brands has announced the Mrs. Butterworth pancake syrup packaging will be reviewed, and the news has social media all lit up. The NY Times reports that a "complete brand and package review" is being done by ConAgra. This comes in the wake of announced changes to the Aunt Jemima brand, and possible coming changes for the Uncle Ben's rice brand.
In a statement, ConAgra stated that Mrs. Butterworth was "intended to evoke the images of a loving grandmother," but added how it wants to stand in solidarity with "our black and brown communities, and we can see that our packaging may be interpreted in a way that is wholly inconsistent with our values."
There has been much debate over the race of the Mrs. Butterworth character, with Kevin D. Thomas, a professor of multicultural branding in the Race, Ethnic and Indigenous Studies Program at Marquette University, stating how the key issue is her physical shape, "which strongly resembles the mammy caricature" While she's been represented as an elderly white woman, mainly through vocal effect, "her physique and style of dress bear a striking resemblance to that of the mammy," he continued. Scroll down to see what people are saying about the brand review on Twitter.
In light of Aunt Jemima trending, I Googled Mrs. Butterworth, my fave. It confirmed she’s White “but for 45 years she’s been Black passing”. What in the Rachel Dolezal— pic.twitter.com/kUTtGqiTr2— Love Bees Honey (@lovebeeshoney) June 17, 2020
Even if you werent taught about aunt jemima, uncle ben, mrs butterworth, & cream of wheat all you would have to do is look at the package & know what’s up! pic.twitter.com/KIvTZJciKs— Tiffani Peoples (@Tiffluvs2shop) June 17, 2020
Well done guys. This definitely defeated systemic racism and the streets are now safer.— Jesse (@Jesseisnoice) June 17, 2020
Mrs. Butterworth, too. pic.twitter.com/GDTw2AnyyY— FeMaiden❄️Fuck Racists and Bigots 🏳️🌈 (@FeMaiden13) June 17, 2020
@ConagraBrands thank you so much for your brave social justice-inspired action. The long history of systemic racism in the United States is solved. Just. Like That.— Jonathan Tubman (@TubmanJonathan) June 17, 2020
I didn't even know Mrs. Butterworth was supposed to be African American.— SeniorCitizen (@BSchipperke) June 18, 2020
I always felt the Mrs. Butterworth was a wealthy person sounding name. Like someone who would hold afternoon tea.— BrianHarris(WittyWittyBot held hostage in PA) (@BrianHarris) June 18, 2020
Mrs. Butterworth gets the axe too, even though her race is unknown. According to the company, she’s just supposed to be a “grandmotherly figure”. Watch out Betty Crocker and Pillsbury Doughboy, coming for you next. pic.twitter.com/NQ4sN8RJTn— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) June 18, 2020
Between rebrandings of Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth, and Land O’Lakes, it’s been a really rough month for racist pancake fans.— Matt Golden (@emgolden) June 18, 2020
Uncle Ben and Mrs Butterworth on their way out. 🙄— Mara🇺🇸 Acquitted forever! 🙏 (@marabutler67) June 18, 2020
Aunt Jemima, miss butterworth, and uncle ben getting a makeover. Crazy— Fibonacci (@native_german) June 18, 2020