Land O’Lakes Trends on Twitter Even Without a Butter Shortage

(Bloomberg) -- America’s best-selling butter trended on Twitter Sunday -- but not because of a shortage.

Land O’Lakes, the brand that’s dominated shelves since 1921, announced in February it has started removing the iconic Native American woman “Mia” from its products and adding the phrase “Farmer-Owned.”

The Minnesota-based dairy company drew praise from the state’s lieutenant governor earlier this month, echoing the American Psychological Association’s finding that such mascots appear to have “a negative impact on the self-esteem of American Indian children.”

News of the removal gained traction on the social media Sunday after CNN anchor Jake Tapper tweeted an April 17 story from his network. It also drew criticism, with some responses defending the icon as a “beautiful image,” and suggesting that Quaker Oats Co.’s “Aunt Jemima” could be next to be targeted.

Robert DesJarlait, the son of the artist who remade Mia in the mid-1950s, said while the image had turned into a stereotype for some, others saw it as a source of pride.

“I simply don’t see it as a stereotype,” he said in a Facebook post. “It isn’t an image that denigrates culture. Rather, it provides a visual statement of our existence.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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