Benson Announces Plan to Change Name of Dixie Brewery, Products
NEW ORLEANS – Cue the outraged editorials.
Gayle Benson – the owner of the New Orleans Saints, New Orleans Pelicans and Dixie Brewery – said in a statement she plans to re-brand Dixie Beer in light of cultural changes that have been sparked by the global Black Lives Matter protests. The news comes a day after the Dixie Chicks, one of country music’s most outspoken acts, announced they were officially dropped the “Dixie” from their name.
The term Dixie was used to describe the Confederate U.S. states that fought to uphold slavery and now is associated with a romanticization of the period.
“One of the most important responsibilities, and greatest opportunities, our teams have had over the years is to unite, inspire and lead our community – particularly in difficult times,” said Benson. “When presented the opportunity to purchase the majority of Dixie Beer and return the iconic brand to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina we felt this would be a unique opportunity to restore something that has been the true neighborhood beer for generations of New Orleanians.”
Benson said that she and her late husband Tom Benson commissioned third-party market research before buying the brewery and the the result was a “near universal consensus that restoring Dixie Beer to New Orleans would be a sign of our city’s rebirth and a powerful testament to the resilience of our people.”
Benson said, however, that times have changed … and quickly.
“We recognize, however, that our nation and community are currently engaged in critical conversations about racism and systemic social issues that have caused immeasurable pain and oppression of our black and brown communities,” she said. “As New Orleans, and our country, continue to evolve we find it necessary to reflect on the role our brewery can play in making our home more united, strong and resilient for future generations. … With inclusive input from all of our community stakeholders, we are preparing to change the name of our brewery and products that carry the Dixie brand and these conversations will determine what brand will best represent our culture and community.”