Sunday, April 21, 2024

Cancel Culture Crazy – Call For Plantation Rum To Be Cancelled Is Nothing But Woke Wazzock Warbling

As ITV’s ‘Good Morning Britain’ Rachelle Ferron calls out Plantation Rum as a “horror” brand that “chokes,” Matthew Steeples asks if this is cancel culture crazy warbling by a woke wazzock?

Nobody with a moral compass would today come out in favour of slavery, but would even the cancel culture crackpot Owen Jones go as far as to seek to cancel anything mentioning the description “plantation” – meaning in essence “a large farm” out of outrage over its past associations?


Though the answer to that question is a likely “yes” given the attention seeking Chavs author would likely have sought to whine if he’d thought of it first, ITV’s Good Morning Britain head of entertainment Rachelle Ferron was given acres of column inches to get in her thoughts on this noun yesterday. In an article for The Guardian, she ludicrously claimed to have been “choked” after seeing it on a visit to a branch of a Richard Caring owned restaurant, The Ivy.


Ferron, offended to find the “P-word” listed on the menu in the form of a “rum-soaked sponge” made with Plantation Rum, whined: “It matters that once you really see these things, it is difficult to unsee them.”


Droning on, a woman once proudly posed for a snap with Sean Combs – whose clothing brands have ironically been called out for operating “slave labour-like” working conditions – surmised: “Hmm (rather than ‘Mmm’). My dad is Jamaican. My ancestors were slaves.”


She added:


“Does this matter? Yes. It matters that all around us we see reminders of a painful past, and then feel the indignity of knowing that the words and images of historic colonial exploitation are being deployed, even offered to us, as brands and items produced for someone’s commercial gain. It matters that once you really see these things, it is difficult to unsee them. Either you come to terms with them, or you decide that this is not the way for diverse societies to behave, and resolve to act.”


“These brands and images, these indignities and slights, have perhaps always been there. But one night, on date night, I saw ‘Plantation’ rum on the menu, thought about the history and connotations, and thought: enough. It was my own little protest, but that’s how wider change often starts.”


Continuing, Ferron expressed objection at a property development in Battersea with the name Plantation Wharf and a pier of the same name operated for Uber Boat by Thames Clippers. Houses – such as those owned by Ben Affleck – with “P-word” history and the shutters they gave their name to, she argued are part of “[worshipping] a trend that glorifies plantation living.”


After complaining to the restaurant group about the ‘hurt’ she felt, the liquid that so outraged her has now been removed from at least 30 restaurants owned by bouffant haired billionaire Caring in spite of a pledge from Maison Ferrand, the owners of Plantation Rum, that they would be taking steps to “rebrand” in June 2020.


At that time, the company’s Stephanie Simbo told The Spirits Business:


“We pride ourselves on making delicious rum for people to enjoy and never want any part of their experience to create feelings of discomfort.”


“To that end, we want to be on the side of actions and solutions. As you can imagine, evolving a brand name is a significant undertaking for a family business like ours. We humbly ask that everyone have patience as we move to make these changes as quickly as possible.”


Alexandre Gabriel, the company’s founder and master blender, previously added:


“As the dialogue on racial equality continues globally, we understand the hurtful connotation the word ‘plantation’ can evoke to some people, especially in its association with much graver images and dark realities of the past.”


“We look to grow in our understanding of these difficult issues and while we don’t currently have all the details of what our brand name evolution will involve, we want to let everyone know that we are working to make fitting changes.”


Though Rachelle Ferron most likely enthused the woke in Britain with her ‘victory’ over a noun describing a farm, I’d argue she’s instead secured nothing but making herself look like a hectoring harridan with a desire to damage a small family business that has already committed to making change. Now, I’d suggest, it is time for her to take her pitchfork off for a confrontation with her chum P. Diddy.


Pictured top – The Whitney Plantation in Louisiana, a place which now seeks to “educate the public about the history of slavery and its legacies” rather than celebrating or erasing memory of its past (left); the rum that so offended Rachelle Ferron (right).


Maison Ferrand “Cognac maverick” Alexandre Gabriel’s rum’s name is due to be changed, but nonetheless Rachelle Ferron chose yesterday to get unnecessarily outraged about seeing the brand on menus at one of the premises of the chi-chi restaurant group, The Ivy. Though she claimed to seek to cause “a downturn in custom” by complaining and then got Richard Caring’s restaurant to “remove all ‘Plantation’ rum products (including that offensive pud) from its restaurants, bars and menus, what has she actually achieved? “I’m still digesting the news, but, wow – I did that. I forced change on a British institution,” she crowed, but isn’t she just putting jobs at risk at a company that has already agreed to what she wanted in 2020?
Previously, in May 2017, Ferron happily posed for pictures with Sean Combs (AKA P. Diddy, Diddy, Puffy and Puff Daddy), the face and “equal-share venture” collaborator of the Diageo vodka brand Cîroc. She declared of a man who was previously called out for involving himself in “sweatshop labour” with the clothing brands he associated with: “Come back for an interview on GMB. We had so much fun before,” yet today attacks others for a word she associates with slavery.
Can Ferron not just accept that the noun actually primarily defines “an estate on which crops such as coffee, sugar, and tobacco are grown”? She might call such “places of horror,” but what does she actually achieve by seeking to erase a word?
Antebellum style Destrehan Manor House in Louisiana was used in the 2013 Steve McQueen directed, Brad Pitt produced film ‘12 Years A Slave’ starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender. Will Ferron next demand this architecturally important building be demolished because of what she views to be the “outrage” associated with its past?
Matthew Steeples
Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.


  1. Well,here you go again making sense @Matthew Steeples @Steeple Times! Shame on you or that’s what the wokesters are saying! Good job keeping the loonies in Check.^^

  2. I live in New Orleans. My son is preservation contractor for the River Rd. plantations. I did the local casting for Interview with a Vampire when it filmed here. My sister was nominated for an Oscar for Set Decorating Twelve Years Slave. I have studied and lectured on Louisiana culture for thirty years. I am saddened by the trending emotional dumbing down of humanity in general. The crass chopping of history and culture is mentally lazy and boring. What causes people to retreat into a touchy , personalized response to history and art is a modern mystery. It is as horrifying as climate change and brings with it banal conflict and even violence. How self indulgent it all is…how stupid.


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