Ben & Jerry’s is in hot water after receiving a number of complaints for the “offensive” name of their ice cream flavor, “Hazed and Confused.” The flavor, which was released back in February, contains chocolate fudge chips and hazelnuts. To some extent, the ingredients reportedly contributed to the name of the flavor. However, some customers found name offensive, associating it with hazing.
According to WCAX, Lianne and Brian Kowiak submitted one of the most notable complaints, because they were deeply offended by the name. Their 19-year-old son was reportedly a victim of hazing. Unfortunately, he passed almost six years ago due to injuries he sustained from hazing.
Here’s a portion of the complaint letter the Kowiaks submitted to the Burlington, Vermont-based company.
“Sadly enough, someone actually thought it was prudent to trademark a name making light of a concept that thousands of very dedicated individuals, students, college and universities, professional sports teams and even the U.S. military are fighting hard to eradicate senseless, dangerous and deadly acts of hazing.”
According to The Huffington Post, Ben & Jerry’s company spokesman Sean Greenwood addressed the complaints, stating the name of the flavor was never intended to be offensive. He also offered some brief history about where the name derived from. The ice cream flavor was actually influenced by Led Zeppelin’s 1969 hit single, “Dazed and Confused,” along with the 1993 comedy-drama film, which bares the same name. The company also clarified that the name “was never intended to have any association with hazing.”
“The ice cream contains hazelnuts, so it was always meant as a pop culture reference to ‘Dazed and Confused,'” Greenwood said of the song and film. “Not a lot of words rhyme with ‘hazelnut,'” he said in reference to the word change. “To us, there’s no way that Ben & Jerry’s has condoned or endorsed or marketed hazing with this flavor,” said Greenwood.
The company released a brief statement to the Huffington Post in reference to the allegations.
“Ben & Jerry’s believes that hazing and bullying have no place in our society. No individual, group, or entity should benefit by marginalizing others.”
Greenwood contacted the family on behalf of the company. He asked if they could offer any suggestions for an alternative name to the flavor that would pay homage to their son. However, he also made it clear he couldn’t promise if the company would make any changes.
Do you think Ben & Jerry’s should be ordered to change the name of the ice cream flavor? Share your thoughts.
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