Celebrity

Nathalie Emmanuel called ‘Uncle Ben’ by co-worker in casual racism

Nathalie Emmanuel sparked a conversation about racial microaggressions (Picture: FilmMagic)

Nathalie Emmanuel has opened up about her ordeal with casual racism in the past, recalling how one colleague would refer to her as ‘Uncle Ben’. 

The Game of Thrones actress shared a tweet on Sunday explaining how she was triggered by an advert for Uncle Ben’s rice.

Famous for its packaging which featured a grey-haired Black man, the company changed its name in September 2020 in light of its racist branding and is now known as Ben’s Original. 

Sharing her past experience of casual racism, Nathalie tweeted: ‘I keep seeing that Uncle Ben rebrand advert… now called Ben’s Original …. And it’s reminded me how many years ago someone I worked with used to like to call me Uncle Ben sometimes like it was a cute nickname…’ 

‘The casual racism you forget and then remember randomly,’ she added. 

Nathalie’s followers could relate to her experience, with one replying: ‘Microaggressions are legit….I have had a few nicknames that did not sit well SMH.’ 

Another revealed: ‘That happened me to several times too. Uncle Ben, Kuntakente, etc.’ 

One other wrote: ‘randomly remembered when my mom brought fresh made lumpia (Filipino egg rolls) to a swimming party & some guy kept calling my mom “Egg Roll” as a “cute nickname”. I was only 9 but to this day, I remember be so infuriated.’ 

When one follower asked: ‘Uncle Ben is racist????’ Nathalie confirmed: ‘Yes.’ 

‘Wow, had no idea it was or would be!!’ the follower replied. 

Uncle Ben’s was rebranded to Ben’s Original (Picture: Getty Images)

Last year, Nathalie, 32, spoke out during the Black Lives Matter protests and reminded people that racism doesn’t stop when someone becomes famous. 

Speaking to ITV, the Fast & Furious actress said: ‘I suffered countless examples of racism, you know, like the usual slurs in the park, you know, when you’re playing with your friends and someone’s, you know, decides that that’s what you are. 

‘She says she became accustomed to being called things like “the N-word”, or “dirty because your skin is brown”.’ 

She added: ‘All of these like offensive things that you have to live through.’

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