Ben & Jerry’s is known for their innovative ice cream flavors and creative names, but a Florida couple is trying to get one of the names changed because they find it offensive.
Lianne and Brian Kowiak say they discovered the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor “Hazed & Confused” and were immediately turned off by what it suggested.
“I saw there was a flavor named 'Hazed & Confused’ and I just paused and I was really upset and shocked when I saw it,” said Lianne. “When I saw this name, 'Hazed & Confused,' it frankly just struck a nerve with us.”
The Kowiaks tragically lost their 19-year-old son Harrison to injuries he suffered after a hazing incident while joining a fraternity at college six years ago. Since that time, the Kowiaks have been advocates for anti-hazing and have traveled to schools across the country to help put an end to the practice.
“Sadly, after his death, there are so many individuals that have been impacted by hazing emotionally, physically and verbally abused,” said Lianne. “And it's not just fraternities and sororities, but it's also athletic groups and bands, you hear all about it in the news media today.”
The Kowiaks decided to get in touch with Ben & Jerry’s to let them know that they were concerned about the message that the ice cream was promoting, but the company insists that the name was a play on the move “Dazed and Confused” and on the fact that the ice cream is hazelnut flavor.
A representative called the Kowiaks to discuss the matter with them personally.
“In typical Ben & Jerry's fashion we said, 'How do you kind of tie in a pop culture reference?' So we were referencing the pop culture reference, 'Dazed and Confused,’” said spokesperson Sean Greenwood. “To us, there's no way that Ben & Jerry's has condoned or endorsed or marketed hazing with this flavor.”
The company does not have any definite plans to change the name of the flavor, and the Kowiaks are continuing their campaign to end hazing nationwide.
Sources: WCAX, University Herald, Huffington Post, Bloomberg