Is Mrs. Butterworth Black or White? The question is bothering the entire nation after Aunt Jemima, an American syrup company, decided to change its name and logo because its brand’s character allegedly promoted racism.
Mrs. Butterworth’s is also an American brand of syrup and pancakes just like Aunt Jemima. The brand chain is owned by ConAgra Foods. Its bottles come in various sizes with one similarity and that is Mrs. Butterworth’s shape, the matronly woman is the same on all bottles.
Following Aunt Jemima’s racist theory, the attention is now shifted to Mrs. Butterworth’s character. Whether it is Black or White? Is the queen of syrup African-American? We have the answer here along with Mrs. Butterworth’s entire history.
Is Mrs. Butterworth Black or White?
Mrs. Butterworth’s Black! Thelma “Butterfly” McQueen, a black African-American actress, modeled for the original Mrs. Butterworth’s bottle. She was recognized for portraying young mother “Prissy” in “Gone with the Wind” (1939).
As per the information provided by the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia situated in Ferris State University in Michigan, the mother character was displayed as an obese Black woman with her head covered with a scarf. Identical to Mrs. Butterworth’s iconic lady.
Mrs. Butterworth’s History: Thelma McQueen, an African-American, was chosen to represent the brand because the company wanted to showcase that blacks were happy working under whites. To be their slaves.
Earlier, few theories also conspired that Mrs. Butterworth’s actually white but the syrup, being black in color, represented the character as a black person. However, these theories were falsified later on.
According to Reference.com, Mrs. Butterworth is neither black nor white. The initial animated commercials featured Mary Kay Bergman, a white voice actress and she remained the voice for Mrs. Butterworth’s character for a significant time.
What’s Mrs. Butterworth’s Real Name?
Mrs. Butterworth’s real name is ‘JOY’.
The secret was revealed 40 years later after Mrs. Butterworth’s products started manufacturing. Andy Reichgut, vice president of marketing at Pinnacle Foods, revealed the name through a little contest “Guess The Name” in 2009.
People began asking questions about Mrs. Butterworth’s real identity after the company started televising its syrup commercials on TV in 2007.
“When she made her return to TV commercials in 2007, people started to ask questions about her history – they wanted to know her name!” said Andy.
The name was finally revealed in 2009 during a contest. A 15-year-old Indiana girl named Shayla Doty and a 44-year-old woman named Cynthia Harmon successfully cracked the name and both won $500 and an annual supply of Mrs. Butterworth’s syrups.
What’s Next For Mrs. Butterworth’s?
Following Aunt Jemima’s name controversy, it is predicted that ConAgra is the next-in-line to change Mrs Butterworth’s name and logo. Twitterati has also warned the company to be ready for all possible circumstances. Check out some tweets below.
— carla conroy (@carlaconroy) June 17, 2020
— Anonymous-EB (@Kev_Emo) June 17, 2020
With Aunt Jemima & Mrs. Butterworth out of the way Hungry Jack over here like… pic.twitter.com/wYulO9F3hC
— McNeil (@Reflog_18) June 17, 2020
Mrs. Butterworth crosses another name off her list and grins, knowing she’s one step closer to collecting that tontine
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) June 17, 2020
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