Last month, Opposing Views told you about the Florida couple who reached out to popular ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s complaining that their chocolate hazelnut flavor called “Hazed & Confused” had offended and concerned them.
Lianne and Brian Kowiak said last month that they stumbled upon the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor and were shocked to read the label. Their 19-year-old son Harrison tragically died during a hazing incident six years ago, so when they saw the name of the ice cream, it made them feel uncomfortable.
“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 immediately got in touch with Ben & Jerry’s to express that they felt the name promoted hazing and suggest that they call is something else, and initially, the ice cream company said they would look into it. Now, however, they’ve decided to keep the name, which they saw is a reference to the movie “Dazed & Confused” with the “hazed” part referencing the ice cream’s hazelnut flavor.
“It didn’t make sense for us to change the name,” Sean Greenwood, a Ben & Jerry’s spokesman, said to Bloomberg. “We named it because it’s a pop culture reference.”
The company says that when they looked at the name, they found nothing that “condoned hazing, supported hazing, or even inferred hazing.”
Still, the Kowiaks strongly believe that the name is offensive to them and other families who have lost loved ones to hazing.
“The name minimizes and makes a complete joke of the dangerous and sometimes deadly practice that has caused physical and psychological harm to many and in the case of our dearest son, Harrison, his death," said the Kowiaks to the NY Daily News.
Ben & Jerry’s has reportedly received 11 complaints about the “Hazed & Confused” ice cream flavor.