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The Strategy Room

Redskins Retire Their Name, Cancel Culture, and the Red Table Talk

By: Ezraya Drumgo

Happy Tuesday, Lunch Breakers! We’re halfway through the month and we’re here to catch you up on the latest industry news, trends and headlines.

This week we’re going to dive into what is popularly called ‘cancel culture’, give you an update on the Redskins name change, and take a look at what everyone is talking about including a record breaking Facebook Watch series from celebrity couple Will and Jada.

Latest on Redskins Brand Change

In a previous Lunch Break we discussed the recent uproar against the Washington Redskins team brand name. Last we reported, the name and logo was under “thorough review” due to pressure from sponsors who argue that the brand is a racial slur and is offensive to Native Americans.

On July 3, the Washington D.C. football team announced that they had officially retired its name and logo. In a statement from the Washington Redskins they said, “Dan Snyder and Coach Rivera are working closely to develop a new name and design approach that will enhance the standing of our proud, tradition rich franchise and inspire our sponsors, fans and community for the next 100 years.”

We will continue to monitor how the organization handles the name change as we are sure it will be a case study for public relations professional for years to come.

What is ‘Cancel Culture’?

The term “cancel culture” has been gaining popularity over recent years due to the increased use of social media. Essentially, “cancelling” means you no longer support or buy products due to an offensive statement or action made by the brand or person. It is important to be mindful of the image you portray on social media and recognize when something could be perceived as offensive to a certain group. Forbes wrote an article on “15 Key Considerations for Businesses When Commenting on Political or Social Matters” which is a helpful guide in avoiding a public relations disaster and the possibility to be cancelled.

Recently, Goya Foods’ President Robert Unanue has been facing backlash after recent comments praising President Trump at a White House event on July 9th. He was quoted saying “We’re all truly blessed at the same time to have a leader like President Trump, who is a builder.” Many who are not Trump supporters did not agree with the statement and took to social media to ask for the brand to be “cancelled” and for people to stop purchasing Goya products.

Social media hashtags like #Goyaway and #GOYABOYCOTT were used to express disdain for the company from influential figures like Julian Castro. House representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez retweeted an image of the conference stating, “Oh look, it’s the sound of my Googling “how to make your own Adobo.”

Will, Jada and The Red Table

R&B singer, August Alsina, recently confirmed that he was in a relationship with actress Jada Pinkett Smith, now married to actor Will Smith, that sparked a lot of buzz on social media.

Pinkett-Smith is the host of the Facebook series “The Red Table Talk” where each week she brings in different guests and they discuss a variety of topics from pop culture, mental health, and social justice issues. After the news broke that she had an affair, Jada and Will held their own episode at the red table to discuss what happened. Buzzfeed wrote an article discussing how “Will and Jada’s “Red Table Talk” was a Savy PR Move” for various reasons including being secretive about Will’s appearance for the episode in the promotion videos.

The attention around this earned the Smith’s Red Table Talk episode the record for most views of a Facebook Watch original episode with more than 15 million views in 24 hours. By Will and Jada owning their narrative of what happened in their marriage and sharing in on their own platform they were able to control the story and derail any assumptions people may have had.




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