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Lego donates $4M, Ben and Jerry’s vows to ‘dismantle white supremacy’ amid George Floyd protests

Companies like Lego and Ben & Jerry's have showed their support for the Black Lives Matter protests.
Companies like Lego and Ben & Jerry's have showed their support for the Black Lives Matter protests. Ben & Jerry's

Many companies, like Lego and Ben & Jerry’s, are taking a hard stance in support of recent protests and the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody after a white officer was filmed kneeling on his neck.

On Wednesday, Lego took to Twitter with the announcement of a $4-million donation to “organizations dedicated to supporting Black children and educating all children about racial equality.”

“We stand with the Black community against racism and inequality,” the tweet says.

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Taking its statement even further, the children’s toy company reportedly requested affiliate partners stop the sale of emergency services-related toys, like police officer and fire brigade sets, according to an official email obtained by The Toy Book.

In a statement released to the website, a spokesperson for the company said: “We requested that our affiliate partners refrain from posting promotional Lego content as part of our decision to respect #BlackOutTuesday and pause posting content on our social media channels in response to the tragic events in the U.S. We regret any misunderstanding and will ensure that we are clearer about our intentions in the future.”

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Global News reached out to Lego for comment but didn’t hear back by the time of publication. The Lego company has yet to speak publicly about the move to remove advertising for this theme of toys.

Various social media users also shared the same email, with one person adding that the removal of White House and doughnut shop sets from sales sites was also requested. Twitter user @firstmentormike said he received the email reportedly sent to affiliate marketers from cash-back website Rakuten Linkshare telling him to remove ad links to products including “a police theme.”

“The products are still for sale,” he writes. “They just don’t want them advertised.”

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Ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s, known for being social justice-oriented, also showed its support of protesters with a lengthy statement titled “Silence is not an option” that called for change in the wake of Floyd’s death.

George Floyd protests continue and new charges laid in investigation
George Floyd protests continue and new charges laid in investigation

“All of us at Ben & Jerry’s are outraged about the murder of another Black person by Minneapolis police officers last week and the continued violent response by police against protesters,” the statement begins.

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“We have to say his name: George Floyd. George Floyd was a son, a brother, a father and a friend. The police officer who put his knee on George Floyd’s neck and the police officers who stood by and watched didn’t just murder George Floyd, they stole him,” the brand continues. “They stole him from his family and his friends, his church and his community and from his own future.”

The company’s owners, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, have long been vocal supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement. In September, they released a new ice cream flavour called Justice ReMix’d.

The flavour, a mixture of fudge brownie and cinnamon bun, is described as an “action campaign dedicated to criminal justice reform,” the brand’s website states. “We’re proud to work with (the) Advancement Project national office in supporting reforms that invest in people instead of prisons.”

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In 2018, Ben & Jerry’s released its Pecan Resist flavour aimed at the Trump administration’s “regressive and discriminatory policies.”

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca