Trader Joe’s now says it will not be changing any of its product names and just told the blacklisting cancel culture to shove it … but did so politely.
Last week the far-left Los Angeles Times reported that, due to an online petition attacking its brands as racist, Trader Joe’s had caved.
“While this approach to product naming may have been rooted in a lighthearted attempt at inclusiveness, we recognize that it may now have the opposite effect — one that is contrary to the welcoming, rewarding customer experience we strive to create every day,” company spokeswoman Kenya Friend-Daniel said.
But in a statement released this week, Trader Joe’s reversed course and defended its brands [emphasis added]:
In light of recent feedback and attention we’ve received about our product naming, we have some things we’d like to say to clarify our approach.
A few weeks ago, an online petition was launched calling on us to “remove racist packaging from [our] products.” Following were inaccurate reports that the petition prompted us to take action. We want to be clear: we disagree that any of these labels are racist. We do not make decisions based on petitions.
We make decisions based on what customers purchase, as well as the feedback we receive from our customers and Crew Members. If we feel there is need for change, we do not hesitate to take action.
Recently we have heard from many customers reaffirming that these name variations are largely viewed in exactly the way they were intended—as an attempt to have fun with our product marketing. We continue our ongoing evaluation, and those products that resonate with our customers and sell well will remain on our shelves.
The crybully petition was premised on what inspired the Trader Joe’s brand, which was Disney’s famous Jungle Cruise ride and a book called White Shadows in the South Seas.
The petitioner, a 17-year-old girl, expressed her outrage over this:
The book White Shadows in the South Seas was also made into a silent film. This work demonstrates the horrific legacy of trading companies as they exploited and enslaved the South Pacific in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of these regions are still at a disadvantage today because of how traders ravaged their peoples, their societies, and their natural resources. Even though the story calls out the abuses of trading companies, (although it perpetuates other racist tropes such as that of the “noble savage” and “white god” narratives common during this period), “Trader” is still part of the grocery chain’s name. It leaves the question: What in particular about this book inspired the company?
Likewise, the Disneyland Jungle Cruise Ride has received criticism of misappropriating Indigenous culture and perpetuating stereotypes of native people as primitive and savage. The ride features animatronic people only identified as “headhunters” and “natives” dressed in some sort (of which culture it is unclear) of traditional dress, performing a dance, and…
Yeah, “and” blah, blah, blah…
In other words, the petition reads exactly like the kind of self-righteous, virtue-signaling horseshit 17-year-old girls are famous for, but we now live in a culture where we’re actually listening and caving to these ignorant crybullies.
Oh, and does anyone believe the 17-year-old petitioner actually saw White Shadows in the South Seas, and need I add the inspiration came from the book and not the movie and movies are very often different from books.
Well, thankfully, at least for now, Trader Joe’s is not…
Unlike a whole lot of other companies – Land o’ Lakes, Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, Mutual of Omaha, the Washington Redskins – Trader Joe’s appears to have figured out that 1) cable news and Twitter are not real life, and 2) maybe erasing cultural icons representing minority groups is – you know, a little racist.
My favorite part of the Trader Joe announcement is where the company says it will listen to its customers as opposed to petitions.
Well, there’s an idea!
My other favorite part is where Trader Joe’s comes right out and says “we disagree that any of these labels are racist.” Bravo!
We need more profiles in courage, and we need Trader Joe’s to flourish, to be rewarded for its own profile in courage.
The only way this madness stops is if people and corporations (like Goya Foods) tell these fascist blacklisters to shove it and are rewarded for it, or at least do not face a backlash.