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Photo: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

Quaker Oats announced Wednesday that it will rebrand and rename its Aunt Jemima products, saying it recognizes that the brand's "origins are based on a racial stereotype," NBC News reports.

Why it matters: In the wake of protests over systemic racism and police brutality, private companies are being forced to reckon with how their consumer products or branding may be harmful or offensive to communities of color.

What they're saying: "We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype. As we work to make progress toward racial equality through several initiatives, we also must take a hard look at our portfolio of brands and ensure they reflect our values and meet our consumers’ expectations," Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America, said in a press release.

Context: The Aunt Jemima logo was inspired by the minstrel song "Old Aunt Jemima," according to a 2015 New York Times piece authored by Riché Richardson, an associate professor of African American literature at Cornell.

  • Richardson called the logo "an outgrowth of Old South plantation nostalgia and romance grounded in an idea about the 'mammy,' a devoted and submissive servant who eagerly nurtured the children of her white master and mistress while neglecting her own."

What's next: Quaker said the new packaging will appear on shelves in the fall of 2020.

  • The company has also announced it will donate at least $5 million over next five years "to create meaningful, ongoing support and engagement in the black community."

Go deeper

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.

Janet Yellen plays down debt, tax hike concerns in confirmation hearing

Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen at an event in December. (Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images)

Janet Yellen, Biden's pick to lead the Treasury Department, pushed back against two key concerns from Republican senators at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday: the country's debt and the incoming administration's plans to eventually raise taxes.

Driving the news: Yellen — who's expected to win confirmation — said spending big now will prevent the U.S. from having to dig out of a deeper hole later. She also said the Biden administration's priority right now is coronavirus relief, not raising taxes.

Trump gives farewell address: "We did what we came here to do"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump gave a farewell video address on Tuesday, saying that his administration "did what we came here to do — and so much more."

Why it matters, via Axios' Alayna Treene: The address is very different from the Trump we've seen in his final weeks as president — one who has refused to accept his loss, who peddled conspiracy theories that fueled the attack on the Capitol, and who is boycotting his successor's inauguration.