The stock price of Unilever, the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s, has plummeted by nearly $2 billion due to calls to boycott the ice cream company over their controversial 4th of July tweet. That tweet called for the return of “stolen Indigenous land” by the United States to Native American tribes. “This 4th of July, it’s high time we recognize that the US exists on stolen Indigenous land and commit to returning it” read the tweet according to the New York Post.
The statement by the company said that “[t]he faces on Mount Rushmore [those of former presidents of the United States] are the faces of men who actively worked to destroy Indigenous cultures and ways of life, to deny Indigenous people their basic rights.” It also called the same men whose faces were engraved on the mountain “colonizers, four white men—two of whom enslaved people and all of whom were hostile to Indigenous people and values.” The call to action by the company was to start this process of land restoration by returning “that sacred place [Mount Rushmore] to the Lakota [tribe].”
As the New York Post noted, Unilever is an Anglo-Dutch firm and Ben & Jerry’s remains independent from that firm insofar as it retains the ability to sound out its own views on politics. The result of that tweet and statement by the ice cream company has been that Unilever’s market cap has dropped from $130.2 billion to $128.5 billion.
Conservative-leaning media outlets were quick to trumpet the downturn as the effects of the boycott. Citizen Free Press on Twitter wrote “Eat that, Ben and Jerry’s” and shared a screengrab from Fox News depicting the falling numbers in market value for Unilever.
Eat that, Ben and Jerry's. pic.twitter.com/XbwTWenVkO
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) July 7, 2023
Ben & Jerry’s July 4th tweet was met with numerous hostile responses from Twitter users. Leslie, for instance, wrote “I’m Oglala Lakota Sioux (related to Chief Sitting Bull) and Navajo, and you embarrass me. We don’t need you to be offended on our behalf. Why don’t you go to Pine Ridge, S.D. and help for real, that rez is a hellhole and needs all the help it can get, if you want to help Natives.”
I'm Oglala Lakota Sioux (related to Chief Sitting Bull) and Navajo, and you embarrass me. We don't need you to be offended on our behalf. Why don't you go to Pine Ridge, S.D. and help for real, that rez is a hellhole and needs all the help it can get, if you want to help Natives.
— Leslie 😎 (@Phenomenal_Cat) July 4, 2023
Brigitte Gabriel opined that “Ben & Jerry’s is woke ice cream! I will never eat it!”
This 4th of July, it's high time we recognize that the US exists on stolen Indigenous land and commit to returning it. Learn more and take action now: https://t.co/45smaBmORH pic.twitter.com/a6qp7LXUAE
— Ben & Jerry's (@benandjerrys) July 4, 2023