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Yelp

Waves of panic rippled through the business community after Yelp announced a new consumer alert tag that allows users to flag any business as racist.

What could go wrong?

Yelp announced Wednesday that it was taking a "stand against racism" by placing a warning tag on any business that receives multiple consumer comments accusing even one employee of a racist act.

"Today, we're announcing a new consumer alert to stand against racism," the company tweeted. "In the last few months, we've seen that there is a clear need to warn consumers about businesses associated with egregious, racially-charged actions to help people make more informed spending decisions."

The complaints can consist of "racist language or symbols" that bring attention to "racist conduct" committed by any single employee or multiple employees of a business.

The racism consumer alert tag is a white exclamation point on a red background.

Yelp will place the tag on any business accused of racism -- even if that business is owned by a minority who employs non-minorities.

The page will be locked and consumers will be unable to leave a comment - negative or positive - until Yelp concludes its "investigation" into the complaints.

Any business hit with a racism alert tag is sure to attract press attention. Yelp will facilitate the further destruction of that business by linking to any press article that covers the alleged racist act.

Twitter reacted to the announcement on Wednesday.

"I'm concerned about declaring a business racist from on-high...," tweeted one user. "What if a Yelp employee has a bias or grudge?"

Another user wrote, "Yelp. Another entity I will block and ban. Its a useless app anyways."

And a third user tweeted: "and here i was thinking your service couldn't get any worse."

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Screengrab: YouTube

The "woke" cancel culture has come for the Black chef on the box of Cream of Wheat porridge mix.

B&G Foods, which owns Cream of Wheat, announced it will remove the iconic image of the Black chef from its packaging because the image of a Black chef is "racially insensitive".

The company became the latest "woke" corporation to drop a popular Black brand logo that they claim was stigmatized as a "racial stereotype" after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.

B&G Foods issued a statement explaining its decision.

"For years, the image of an African-American chef appeared on our Cream of Wheat packaging. While research indicates the image may be based upon an actual Chicago chef named Frank White, it reminds some consumers of earlier depictions they find offensive."

But some Blacks accuse corporations of intentionally using the civil unrest in the U.S. to remove the iconic images of Black people from their packaging.

Soon there will be no more iconic Black images left in advertising. And some Black activists believe that's by design.

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Atlanta entrepreneurs Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker appear to have closed their new restaurant before it even opened.

A loyal reader emailed a photo that shows the RHOA cast members took down that gigantic "Blaze" sign over their shuttered steak & seafood restaurant in Southwest Atlanta.

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If you recall, Kandi and Todd announced the opening of their newest establishment in the Camp Creek Marketplace last month. They also placed a "NOW HIRING" sign in the window.

But, according to my spy, the big Blaze sign came down days ago and there is no indication that the restaurant will be opening its doors anytime soon.

The new restaurant was inspired by their infant daughter, Blaze Tucker, who was delivered via surrogate on Nov. 22, 2019.

The couple already own and operate three "Old Lady Gang" soul food restaurants around the metro Atlanta area.

My spy noted that Blaze steakhouse may have been in conflict with Blaze Pizzeria restaurant chain in Atlanta.

But a quick search of Atlanta businesses turns up other "Blaze" establishments, such as Blaze strip club, the Atlanta Blaze men's lacrosse team, Blaze radio, and Blaze Sports America, among others.

Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Another explanation is that the funding for Kandi and Todd's new restaurant fell through. They managed to secure funding for Blaze restaurant through the government's PPP coronavirus stimulus relief package.

According to Screenrant.com, the couple received between $150,000 and $350,000 in PPP funds set aside for struggling small businesses amid the pandemic.

The loans were approved on April 29 and the funds were disbursed through TruFund Financial Services, despite the fact that Kandi allegedly has a net worth of around $30 million.

According to Screenrant.com, Kandi and Todd shouldn't have been entitled to the PPP loans in the first place since they pass themselves off as a wealthy couple.

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NeNe Leakes is closing the doors of her Swagg clothing boutique in Georgia. Sources say the doors were closed even before the coronavirus pandemic in February.

According to reports NeNe's Swagg boutique in Duluth, GA is covered with 'Going Out of Business' sale signs.

Previously, your auntie told you that several Real Housewives of Atlanta cast members submitted applications for PPP paycheck protection loans that were denied.

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NeNe may have been one of the cast members. Business has not been good for the mom-of-two who shut down her first Swagg boutique in Buckhead, an affluent neighborhood north of Atlanta, two years ago.

The 52-year-old Sagittarius lost her lucrative Real Housewives of Atlanta job, along with her million-dollar salary for alleged insubordination on the set.

NeNe still has Swagg shops in Miami and Oxon Hill, Maryland and she continues to offer online shopping.

The first Swagg Boutique opened in Buckhead in 2016.

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UPN Network

Netflix has acquired 7 Black television sitcoms, and will begin airing the sitcoms beginning this weekend.

According to The Wrap, Netflix raided UPN Network's library and acquired the rights to popular Black sitcoms, Moesha, Sister, Sister, The Game, Girlfriends, The Parkers, Half & Half and One on One.

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UPN Network

Moesha, starring Countess Vaughn, left, and Brandy Norwood, will begin airing on Netflix this Saturday. The first three seasons of The Game, which ran for nine seasons total, will debut on August 15.

Popular '90s sitcom, Sister Sister, starring twins Tia and Tamera, will debut September 1. Girlfriends, which stars Tracee Ellis Ross, and ran for 9 seasons, will debut on Netflix on Sept. 11.

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Getty Images, Hearst

Oprah Winfrey's O magazine will cease monthly printing after 20 years. The news comes amid reports that Hearst Magazines' president quit amid sexual abuse allegations.

According to Business of Fashion, the staff of Oprah's magazine were informed of the decision on Friday, July 24.

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Hearst magazines

The magazine was a joint venture between Oprah, 66, Harpo, Inc. and Hearst Magazines, and is known for its Oprah-centered content, the book of the month club and the annual Oprah's Favorite Things gift guide.

The magazine's readership -- mostly white women -- speculate that the magazine folded due to allegations of sexual misconduct against Troy Young, who resigned as president of Hearst magazines.

The announcement of Young's resignation came a day after the New York Times reported the 52-year-old's "bullying or harassing" behavior which include making indecent remarks to female employees.

In one case, he reportedly sent unsolicited p0rnography to an editor. Young, who was named editor in 2018, sent a note to staffers saying he was "sorry" for the comments he made and he never realized how offensive they were.

"I am sorry and I'm committed to the work I need to do here," he said in his note, which was published by the New York Times.

Hearst president and CEO Steven R. Swartz said the magazine isn't going away completely. It will become "digital-centric" with more emphasis on the O magazine website run by a smaller staff.

"This is a natural next step for the brand, which has grown to an online audience of 8 million, extending its voice and vision with video and social content," a spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter. "We will continue to invest in this platform as the brand grows and evolves into one that is more digitally centric."

Star Tribune via Getty Images)

Nick Cannon was abruptly fired from ViacomCBS after meeting with top executives to discuss his anti-Semitic rant last week.

ViacomCBS is the parent company of Nickelodeon and the producers of his show Nick Cannon Presents: Wild 'N Out.

The "Masked Singer" host found himself in hot water after he stated white people are the "true savages" due to their lack of melanin in their skin.

The job termination ends his hosting duties on Wild 'N Out and The Masked Singer and takes a huge chunk out of his bank account.

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The outspoken comedian made the remarks during a recent episode of his YouTube show Cannon's Class, when he stated that white people are "a little less" than darker-skinned people.

He claimed white people were savages because they originated from hostile territories, far from the equator where they received less sun exposure.

"The people that don't have (melanin) are a little less," Cannon said, claiming, "When they were sent to the mountains of Caucasus... The sun then started to deteriorate them, so then they're acting out of fear, they're acting out of low self-esteem, they're acting out of a deficiency."

He added: "So, therefore, the only way that they can act is evil. They have to rob, steal, rape, kill in order to survive. So then, these people that didn't have what we have - and when I say we, I speak of the melanated people - they had to be savages... They're acting as animals so they're the ones that are actually closer to animals. They're the ones that are actually the true savages."

Fortunata / Splash News

Following the public backlash, ViacomCBS execs met with Cannon in private to discuss his future with the corporation.

Disappointed by his lack of remorse or an apology, ViacomCBS announced it had parted ways with Cannon on Tuesday, July 14.

"ViacomCBS condemns bigotry of any kind and we categorically denounce all forms of anti-Semitism," the company said in a statement. "We have spoken with Nick Cannon about an episode of his podcast ‘Cannon's Class' on YouTube, which promoted hateful speech and spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

"While we support ongoing education and dialogue in the fight against bigotry, we are deeply troubled that Nick has failed to acknowledge or apologize for perpetuating anti-Semitism, and we are terminating our relationship with him."

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Mariah Carey's ex-husband responded to the controversy in a post on his Facebook page on Tuesday.

The father-of-three took "full responsibility" for the controversial remarks he made on his YouTube show.

"Anyone who knows me knows that I have no hate in my heart nor malice intentions. I do not condone hate speech nor the spread of hateful rhetoric. We are living in a time when it is more important than ever to promote unity and understanding," he wrote. "The Black and Jewish communities have both faced enormous hatred, oppression persecution and prejudice for thousands of years and in many ways have and will continue to work together to overcome these obstacles."

Judy Eddy/WENN.com

"In today's conversation about anti-racism and social justice, I think we all - including myself - must continue educating one another and embrace uncomfortable conversations - it’s the only way we ALL get better."

He concluded: "Until then, I hold myself accountable for this moment and take full responsibility because My intentions are only to show that as a beautiful human species we have way more commonalities than differences, So let’s embrace those as well as each other. We All Family!"

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Richelieu Dennis has stepped down as CEO of Essence Communications after former and current female staffers wrote a lengthy essay on Medium.com detailing years of sexual harassment against female staffers.

The scathing essay, titled "The Truth About Essence" was published on Sunday with the byline, Black Female Anonymous, according to Page Six.

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Rich Polk/Getty Images

The authors demanded the resignation of Essence's board members whom they accuse of contributing to the toxic environment at Essence:

"We demand the immediate resignation of Chief Executive Officer Richelieu Dennis, Essence Ventures board member and former Essence Communications CEO Michelle Ebanks, Chief Operating Officer Joy Collins Profet, and Chief Content Officer Moana Luu."

The essay described the workplace environment under CEOs Dennis and Ebanks as a "surface-level commitment to Black women" and that Dennis is "driven by greed and a debaucherous sexual appetite".

They accused Dennis of "a history of sleeping with women on the Sundial staff, (the parent company of Shea Moisture he sold to Unilever in 2017) and for the women who don't seemingly consent, he openly sexually harasses them at private company events."

On Monday, Essence Communications released a statement denouncing the allegations as baseless.

However, on Tuesday, Essence Communications released another statement saying Dennis will be stepping down as CEO.

"Out of an abundance of caution and an unwavering commitment to transparency, ESSENCE is in the process of hiring law firms and other independent external experts to assess and review the company's policies and practices and conduct comprehensive employee interviews," the statement reads.

Dennis, who founded Shea Moisture products, purchased the iconic Essence magazine from TIME magazine in 2018.

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The grandson of the real "Aunt Jemima" Anna Short Harrington is speaking out about Quaker Oats Company's plan to "erase" his grandmother from the brand.

"This is an injustice for me and my family. This is part of my history, sir," Larnell Evans Sr. told Patch.com.

"The racism they talk about, using images from slavery, that comes from the other side -- white people. This company profits off images of our slavery. And their answer is to erase my great-grandmother's history. A black female... It hurts."

Evans said his grandmother took the place of the original "Aunt Jemima" character, enslaved woman Nancy Green who debuted the first "Aunt Jemima" at the Chicago's World Fair in 1893.

Harrington replaced Green when she died in 1923.

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The erasure of Black characters from brand packaging continues. The B&G Foods company said Wednesday it will "review" its Cream of Wheat packaging to ensure the brand did not contribute to "systemic racism."

The Cream of Wheat packaging features a logo of a Black chef. B&G foods made the announcement on Wednesday.

"B&G Foods, Inc. (NYSE:BGS) today announced that we are initiating an immediate review of the Cream of Wheat brand packaging. We understand there are concerns regarding the Chef image, and we are committed to evaluating our packaging and will proactively take steps to ensure that we and our brands do not inadvertently contribute to systemic racism. B&G Foods unequivocally stands against prejudice and injustice of any kind."

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The decision follows on the heels of Quaker Oats company's plan to retire Aunt Jemima, and Mars, Inc said it will retire the Black character on Uncle Ben's rice packaging.

Also on Wednesday, Conagra Brands food company said Mrs. Butterworth's pancake syrup packaging is "under review".

"We understand that our actions help play an important role in eliminating racial bias and as a result, we have begun a complete brand and packaging review on Mrs. Butterworth’s," said Communications Manager Dan Skinner.

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Quaker Co., Mars, Inc.

Uncle Ben's rice will no longer bear the likeness of a Black rice farmer on its packages, Mars, Inc. announced Wednesday.

The news comes after the Quaker Oats Company, which is owned by PepsiCo, decided to retire the Aunt Jemima logo from its packaging due to the company's long history of racial stereotypes.

Mars, Inc. said the change was long overdue "to put an end to racial bias and injustices." The company added it will look at "all possibilities" to replace the familiar logo on it's rice products.

Mars did not indicate if the "Uncle Ben" name would remain on the packaging.

"As we listen to the voices of consumers, especially in the Black community, and to the voices of our Associates worldwide, we recognize that one way we can do this is by evolving the Uncle Ben's brand, including its visual brand identity,' spokeswoman Caroline Sherman said in a statement.

Earlier, the Quaker Company announced it would retire the famous Black character who graced bottles of Aunt Jemima pancake mix and syrup for over a century.

"We recognize Aunt Jemima's origins are based on a racial stereotype. While work has been done over the years to update the brand in a manner intended to be appropriate and respectful, we realize those changes are not enough," said Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America.

The new Aunt Jemima syrup bottles and pancake mix packages will debut in stores in the fourth quarter of 2020, the company said. The name change will be announced soon.