STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – Following a debate about the name of a popular Stillwater staple, the company says it plans to keep its name and its mascot.
Recently, an online petition was launched to ask Eskimo Joe’s to change its name and mascot.
The petition on Change.org says the term “Eskimo” can be racially insensitive.
Organizers of the petition say they don’t want Eskimo Joe’s or its spin-ff, Mexico Joe’s, to be shut down, only re-branded.
As of Monday morning, more than 5,200 people have signed it.
KFOR reached out to the organizers of the petition, but did not hear back.
Since the petition started, there have been multiple counter petitions supporting the name.
“I think it sheds lights on Eskimos,” Tim Applegate said. “Obviously with the way social media and Google is now, you can search for what an Eskimo is and find out about their heritage and background.”
Residents that spoke with KFOR say they don’t see anything wrong with the name, and they plan to continue to supporting Eskimo Joe’s.
“What’s there to really be angry about? Who’s angry about that? Are there any actual people, Eskimos that are angry about that here? I just think it’s manufactured outrage really,” Stillwater resident Dylan McDaniel said. “They just start picking stuff to cancel.”
Stan Clark, the founder and CEO of Eskimo Joe’s, released the following statement in response to concerns regarding the restaurant’s branding.
“Everything we do is steeped in the tradition of unbeatable guest service, and we are always happy to hear feedback from our customers and our community. We are taking a close look at the opinions some people have expressed and are evaluating the path forward for our company and our brand.”
Another petition has been created, saying the restaurant should stay the same and not be changed. That petition has more than 31,500 signatures as of Monday morning.
Eskimo Joe’s created an online survey to ask customers what they thought about the name.
After reading the results, the company says it is keeping its name and mascot.
“We received more than 30,000 heartfelt comments from our customers and the general public about our name and logo. The overwhelming majority- more than 90%- encouraged us to keep our branding of 45 years. They love Eskimo Joe and Buffy, who have always represented fun and excellent service while welcoming and respecting all people. As a company we pride ourselves on giving our loyal customers what they want, so we currently plan to make no changes to our name or logo. We thank everyone who took the time to share their feedback,” the company posted.
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