Everyone by now knows what happened with George Floyd and the ripples his death has had on society, and while I have my opinions on what went down between Floyd and the police, that is not what this is really about. I get that people are angry and are standing up for what they believe in. I have no issues with that but the flood of TV shows going off air, companies rebranding, and more is ridiculous.
Protestors took to the streets seeking what they needed. Whether it be justice or something else, I'm not too sure. The protests ignited controversy of law-based shows and people called for action. In the wake of this outrage, both Cops and Live PD have been cancelled.
These shows portrayed police in their everyday lives doing their jobs and put tons of lives in dangerous situations no matter which side who agree with in the matters at hand. While many think the cops on these shows are giving people an inside look into how the police actually function, others are angry that the arrest, brutality, or even death of members of the public could be caught on camera.
Then, people began targeting shows that portray the different view of the police. And the ironic bit is I'm not even talking about a real human cop. The children's television cartoon Paw Patrol was hit next and people began demanding it be taken off the air because of portrayal of a police pup named Chase. What gets me upset about this is that it's a cartoon about a dog who rescues cats and people are shouting that it should be euthanized, right off of the television.
Looney Toons was the next to announce a stance on gun violence citing the removal of firearms from iconic cartoon characters Yosemite Sam and Elmer Fudd in a new version of the classic cartoons which will air on HBO. They have switched Elmer's rifle to a scythe for him to chase Bugs Bunny around with, which is even worse. Removing a gun in favor of a giant weapon typically depicted being carried around by death is a strange choice to make.
If you thought that was where it stopped, you are sorely mistaken. The next was a company who choose to stand up by removing another iconic image from their packaging. Quaker Oats has stated they will be getting rid of Aunt Jemima's name and image from their iconic syrup. Yep, you heard that right. Protestors have made it, so we are losing an image that has been around since the 1980s.
But this isn't the first time this has happened. Earlier this year, I reported on how Land O' Lakes butter chose to remove the Butter Maiden, an Indian woman from their butter packages.
Following Quaker Oats announcement, Mars Company announced they would be rebranding and reevaluating the packaging, and message, of the Uncle Ben's rice. Uncle Ben's has been named as such since the 1940s, even longer than Aunt Jemima and is just as iconic.
Now, Cream of Wheat's company, B&G Foods, is also considering a review of it's famous packaging which depicts an actual chef who from the 1930s who has been on their packaging for many years.
Where do we draw the line? Do we wait until everything is in a plain package that can't offend anyone? Do we wait until all the television shows have been removed from the air because they have something offensive in them? When do we decide that the protesting is being taken too far?
While I believe in people standing up for themselves, I also don't believe we should completely eradicate our own history in the process. That is what these iconic images and characters are or will become, a part of our history. And to do away with history is wrong.