- Honey Pot, a black-owned business, was hit with negative reviews after a recently released Target ad featured its founder expressing hopes that her success would pave the way for other black girls
- Some were offended that Beatrice Dixon only addressed black girls in the ad and even accused the company of being racist.
- Many expressed their outrage at the negative review-writers and pledged their support to the brand. The ordeal ended up bringing an increase in sales to the company.
- Founder Beatrice Dixon said her products are meant for all women but also stood by her support expressed in the ad.
Ad Spurs Negative Reviews
The Honey Pot, a business run by a black woman, faced a slew of negative reviews following a Target commercial featuring its founder, but the verbal attacks actually resulted in increased sales and widespread support of the brand.
Beatrice Dixon founded Honey Pot, a plant-based feminine care line, after her own personal wellness struggles. In early February, Target released an ad featuring Dixon under the title “Founders We Believe In.” The commercial switches between the Honey Pot owner walking along Target aisles and talking to the camera about the obstacles she faced in starting her company.
“The reason why it’s so important for Honey Pot to do well is so the next black girl that comes up with a great idea — she can have a better opportunity,” Dixon says at the end of the ad. “That means a lot to me.”
Earlier this week, a surge of negative reviews flooded the Honey Pot’s profile on Trustpilot, a consumer review website.
“Black girls are empowered using this product… I guess whites girls aren’t. I’ll be letting Target know about this racist company,” one review said.
“I saw the commercial where the founder of the company stated that it’s to empower black women- not ALL women, only black women… it made me feel that the company is not only racist but small minded and not worth purchasing,” another said.
Dixon addressed the backlash in interviews with several news outlets. She said her products are for all women, as the company markets. In fact, the tagline on the line’s home page is “Made by Humans with Vaginas, for Humans with Vaginas.”
“That comment wasn’t about us being a Black-owned business and only selling to Black customers. I think we’re human and race shouldn’t even be a conversation, but it is because of the society we live in,” Dixon told ESSENCE. “We understand the responsibility as a Black-owned business that we have to be successful because if we’re not, we’re not doing anything for the culture to move it forward so that [race] isn’t a topic.”
The founder said that while she wasn’t necessarily surprised by the negative backlash, she also didn’t have expectations. She stood by her message in the ad.
“This was not Honey Pot’s commercial, it was Target’s commercial. It was shot during Black History Month and for Women’s History Month,” Dixon said to the magazine. “They chose that particular clip for a reason. I’m here for that story and that’s why I said it.”
In a statement, Target said they are proud to work with Dixon and Honey Pot.
“We’re aware of some negative comments about the campaign, which aren’t in line with the overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve received from guests who love and have been inspired by Bea’s story,” Target said.
Support Pours in for Honey Pot
As Internet users caught wind of the negative reviews coming in for Honey Pot, many expressed their outrage.
“Racist White people are literally leaving racist ass reviews under #HoneyPot products on Target’s website because they are mad that it is a company ran by a Black woman,” one Twitter user said. “People are fucking THREATENED by Black women’s success.”
Some called attention to the negative comments on Trustpilot and urged others to leave their own positive reviews for the company.
Many heeded the call and visited Trustpilot to praise Dixon and her feminine care line.
“Love her product!” one person wrote. “Also, her message is very empowering to me and other girls. She proves once you have a vision and believe in yourself you can do anything. Ignore the reviews from bitter, evil, white trash below. They don’t speak up when minority women are being abused and trashed but they speak up to bash on minority women when they uplift themselves.”
“This is amazing. So glad to see more options available for all consumers. The haters were just jealous they weren’t invited to be the center of attention for once,” another review said.
By March 2, Honey Pot’s Trustpilot profile was so flooded with submissions that the website temporarily suspended new reviews from coming in.
“The Honey Pot’s profile page on Trustpilot has been temporarily suspended while Trustpilot’s Content Integrity team investigates an unusual influx of reviews, some of which violate Trustpilot’s guidelines,” the site wrote. “The page will be reinstated after investigation of the reviews.”
The drama turned out to be a good thing for Dixon and her company. She told Buzzfeed that after the wave of negative comments hit the Trustpilot page earlier in the week, Honey Pot’s sales were up 40% to 50% higher than what they would be on a typical day.
Florida School Says Students Vaccinated Against COVID-19 Must Stay Home for 30 Days
The school falsely claimed that people who have just been vaccinated risk “shedding” the coronavirus and could infect others.
Centner Academy Vaccination Policy
A private school in Florida is now requiring all students who get vaccinated against COVID-19 to quarantine for 30 days before returning to class.
According to the local Miami outlet WSVN, Centner Academy wrote a letter to parents last week describing COVID vaccines as “experimental” and citing anti-vaccine misinformation.
“If you are considering the vaccine for your Centner Academy student(s), we ask that you hold off until the Summer when there will be time for the potential transmission or shedding onto others to decrease,” the letter reportedly stated.
“Because of the potential impact on other students and our school community, vaccinated students will need to stay at home for 30 days post-vaccination for each dose and booster they receive and may return to school after 30 days as long as the student is healthy and symptom-free.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has debunked the false claim that those newly vaccinated against COVID-19 can “shed” the virus.
According to the agency’s COVID myths page, vaccine shedding “can only occur when a vaccine contains a weakened version of the virus,” but “none of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.”
In fact, early research has suggested that vaccinated people are less likely to spread the virus than unvaccinated people.
Beyond that, unvaccinated people are more likely to spread COVID in general because they are much more likely to get the virus than vaccinated people. According to recently published CDC data, as of August, unvaccinated people were six times more likely to get COVID than vaccinated people and 11 times more likely to die from the virus.
Centner Academy Continues Spread of Misinformation
In a statement to The Washington Post Monday, Centner Academy co-founder David Centner doubled down on the school’s new policy, which he described as a “precautionary measure” based on “numerous anecdotal cases that have been in circulation.”
“The school is not opining as to whether unexplained phenomena have a basis in fact, however we prefer to err on the side of caution when making decisions that impact the health of the school community,” he added.
The new rule echoes similar efforts Centner Academy has made that run counter to public health guidance and scientific knowledge.
In April, the school made headlines when its leadership told vaccinated school employees that they were not allowed to be in contact with any students “until more information is known” and encouraged employees to wait until summer to get the jab.
According to The New York Times, the following week, a math and science teacher allegedly told students not to hug their vaccinated parents for more than five seconds.
The outlet also reported that the school’s other co-founder, Leila Centner, discouraged masking, but when state health officials came for routine inspections, teachers said they were directed in a WhatsApp group to put masks on.
See what others are saying: (WSVN) (The Washington Post) (Business Insider)
Katie Couric Says She Edited Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quote About Athletes Kneeling During National Anthem
Couric said she omitted part of a 2016 interview in order to “protect” the justice.
Kate Couric Edited Quote From Justice Ginsburg
In her upcoming book, journalist Katie Couric admitted to editing a quote from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg in 2016 in order to “protect” Ginsberg from potential criticism.
Couric interviewed the late justice for an article in Yahoo News. During their discussion, she asked Ginsburg about her thoughts on athletes like Colin Kaepernick kneeling for the national anthem to protest racial inequality.
“I think it’s really dumb of them,” Ginsburg is quoted saying in the piece. “Would I arrest them for doing it? No. I think it’s dumb and disrespectful. I would have the same answer if you asked me about flag burning. I think it’s a terrible thing to do, but I wouldn’t lock a person up for doing it. I would point out how ridiculous it seems to me to do such an act.”
According to The Daily Mail and The New York Post, which obtained advance copies of Couric’s book “Going There,” there was more to Ginsburg’s response. Couric wrote that she omitted a portion where Ginsburg said the form of protest showed a “contempt for a government that has made it possible for their parents and grandparents to live a decent life…Which they probably could not have lived in the places they came from.“
Couric Says She Lost Sleep Making Choice
“As they became older they realize that this was youthful folly,” Ginsberg reportedly continued. “And that’s why education is important.“
According to The Daily Mail, Couric wrote that the Supreme Court’s head of public affairs sent an email asking to remove comments about kneeling because Ginsburg had misspoken. Couric reportedly added that she felt a need to “protect” the justice, thinking she may not have understood the question. Couric reached out to her friend, New York Times reporter David Brooks, regarding the matter and he allegedly likewise believed she may have been confused by the subject.
Couric also wrote that she was a “big RBG fan” and felt her comments were “unworthy of a crusader for equality.” Because she knew the remarks could land Ginsburg in hot water, she said she “lost a lot of sleep” and felt “conflicted” about whether or not to edit them out.
Couric was trending on Twitter Wednesday and Thursday as people questioned the ethics behind her choice to ultimately cut part of the quote. Some thought the move showed a lack of journalistic integrity while others thought revealing the story now harmed Ginsburg’s legacy.
See what others are saying: (New York Post) (The Daily Mail) (Insider)
Biden Administration Orders ICE To Halt Workplace Raids
The Department of Homeland Security will now focus on targeting employers who exploit undocumented workers, instead of carrying out raids that dissuade those workers from reporting labor violations.
DHS Reverses Worksite Raid Policy
The Biden administration announced Tuesday that it was ordering Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to stop workplace raids.
The move marks a reversal from Trump administration policies that have been strongly criticized by immigration activists who argue the efforts created fear in immigrant communities and dissuaded them from reporting labor violations or exploitative employment practices.
In addition to stopping the raids, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a memo that the administration will refocus enforcement efforts to instead target “employers who exploit unauthorized workers, conduct illegal activities or impose unsafe working conditions.”
Mayorkas added that the immigration agencies housed in DHS will have the next 60 days to identify harmful existing policies and come up with new ones that provide better deportation protections for workers who report their employers.
In the Tuesday memo, the secretary argued that shift of focus will “reduce the demand for illegal employment by delivering more severe consequences to exploitative employers” and “increase the willingness of workers to report violations of law by exploitative employers and cooperate in employment and labor standards investigation.”
Labor Market Implications
The new policy comes at a time when the U.S. is experiencing a critical labor shortage, including in many sectors that rely on immigrant labor.
Some companies that use undocumented workers pay them wages that are far below the market rate, which is not only exploitative but also undercuts competitors.
According to Mayorkas, the pivot to employer-based enforcement will help protect American businesses.
“By exploiting undocumented workers and paying them substandard wages, the unscrupulous employers create an unfair labor market,” he said in the memo. “They also unfairly drive down their costs and disadvantage their business competitors who abide by the law.”
It is currently unclear how effective the new efforts will be, but historical precedent does not paint an optimistic picture.
The Biden administration’s efforts closely mirror a similar move by the Obama administration, which attempted to reverse workplace raids authorized under President George W. Bush by targetting those who employ undocumented workers rather than the workers themselves.
That effort, however, still led to thousands of undocumented workers being fired.