The claim: Ben & Jerry’s is honoring a Rittenhouse shooting victim with a limited-edition flavor
Posts on social media claim that days before Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal, the often-political ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s announced it would create a special ice cream flavor in honor of one of the people he killed.
“Ben & Jerry’s is honoring Kyle Rittenhouse shooting victim Joseph Rosenbaum with a new limited edition flavor,” a Nov. 16 Facebook post reads. “All profits from the sales of ‘Rosenbaum’s Heroic Hazelnut’ will be donated to #BlackLivesMatter and other protest organizations.”
The post, shared alongside a screenshot of a tweet with the same text and a rendering of the supposed ice cream, was shared about 100 times within a week.
Some commenters flagged the post as false, but most weren’t so sure.
“This can’t be real…. Can It?” one commenter wrote.
“BOYCOTT THEIR PRODUCTS,” wrote another commenter.
But the ice cream flavor isn’t real. The account that tweeted the claim is satirical, and a spokesperson for Ben & Jerry’s confirmed the ice cream company has not released any flavors in honor of those killed by Rittenhouse.
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USA TODAY reached out to the Facebook and Twitter users who posted the claim for comment.
Claim began as satire
The post is an example of “stolen satire,” in which something published and labeled as satire is captured via screenshot and reposted in a way that makes it appear to be legitimate news. As a result, viewers of the second-generation post are misled, as was the case here.
Sean Greenwood, a spokesperson for Ben & Jerry’s, told USA TODAY the claim is “misinformation being spread” that “has no truth.” The ice cream company also did not issue any press releases or statements on social media promoting the supposed ice cream.
While there will be no “Rosenbaum’s Heroic Hazelnut” flavor, the company has partnered with Colin Kaepernick, a former NFL player who garnered national attention for kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice, to create a flavor called “Change the Whirled Non-Dairy.” All of Kaepernick’s proceeds from the flavor will go toward his “Know Your Rights Camp” legal defense initiative.
Our rating: False
We rate FALSE the claim that Ben & Jerry’s is honoring a Rittenhouse victim with a limited-edition flavor. The account that tweeted the claim is satirical, and a spokesperson for Ben & Jerry’s confirmed the ice cream company has not released any flavors honoring an individual killed by Rittenhouse.
Our fact-check sources:
- Sean Greenwood, Nov. 21, Email exchange with USA TODAY
- Ben & Jerry’s, retrieved Nov. 21, Press releases
- Ben & Jerry’s, retrieved Nov. 21, Instagram
- USA TODAY, Dec. 10, 2020, Opinion: Colin Kaepernick’s activism moves to freezer section with Ben & Jerry’s flavor
- USA TODAY, Aug. 26, 2020, On this day four years ago, Colin Kaepernick began his peaceful protests during the national anthem
- Victory News Network, retrieved Nov. 21, Twitter profile
- Victory News Network, retrieved Nov. 21, Website
- Ben & Jerry’s, Nov. 15, Tweet
- Forbes, Dec. 10, 2020, Colin Kaepernick Partners With Ben & Jerry’s On Namesake Vegan Frozen Dessert
- Know Your Rights Camp, retrieved Nov. 21, Legal Defense Initiative
- USA TODAY, June 3, 2020, Ben & Jerry’s calls for the dismantling of ‘culture of white supremacy’
- Ben & Jerry’s, Nov. 11, Tw//eet
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