Aunt Jemima’s Family Sues Quaker Oats
On behalf of their family, the great-grandsons of the women who is the face of Aunt Jemima are suing PepsiCo and Quaker Oats. Quaker Oats are the makers of Aunt Jemima pancake syrup and mixes and their grandmother has been the face of the company since 1935.
Aunt Jemima’s real name is Anna S. Harrington and was discovered making pancakes at the New York State Fair by a representative of the Quaker Oats company. She was asked to be the face of Aunt Jemima and made commercials and public appearances for the company for 15 years. It was 1937 when Quaker Oats used the pancake recipe and likeness to make her the character of Aunt Jemima.
The suit claims the company exploited her for years and had not paid her estate any royalties upon her death in 1955. They claim the company would not say she was an employee and claim they could not find any records of her image. The suit also says the family was able to find her death certificate that listed her as a Quaker Oats employee.