Big Brands Respond to BLM: Delivering Statements Faster than Products

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Maroon Staff

Big brands issue statements responding to the "Black Lives Matter" movement.

Emily Wang

Large brands and companies have countless tasks to do, such as delivering products or  coming up with innovative new ideas. Recently, they have taken on another crucial challenge. Many Americans have pointed to large companies and brands to take action during the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement. The way companies such as TikTok, Ben and Jerry’s, and Disney respond will have lasting effects on their business. 

Ben and Jerry’s, LEGO, and Uber are among the companies who spoke out against racism and received praise from the public. Ben and Jerry’s released a powerful statement listing four steps people should take to end white supremacy, while LEGO donated 4 million dollars to support racial equality and stopped advertising playsets that included the police, firefighters, and the White House. Uber also announced they would be donating 1 million dollars to support  African American businesses.

On the other side of the scale, companies like TikTok have been getting mounds of criticism and hate for their questionable, or lack of, response. “Silence during this time only contributes to the violence and racism in our society. Brands should be using their platforms to educate and encourage people to contribute to the movement,” Eve Rich ’22 explained. 

Tiktok has been accused of censorship for #blacklivesmatter or #georgefloyd posts, which has created a massive disturbance in its community. They quickly claimed that these hashtags were shut down because of technical issues and donated 4 million dollars to the cause, but many are still skeptical.

As students, we can help raise these flags by contacting corporations, supporting brands that have spoken out, and even refusing products from those who have not. “I think it’s important for us to push companies to talk about this if they haven’t already,” commented Suler Lu ’23. While it may be true that some brands are just taking their time to come up with show-stopping responses, people are getting impatient, and there’s no doubt that these responses (or lack of) can make or break the businesses.