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“Aunt Jemima” Family Files $2 Billion Dollar Lawsuit Against Quaker Oats and Pepsi

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The grandson of Aunt Jemima–Anna Short Harrington– has filed a class action lawsuit on aunt-jemimabehalf of himself and all of her great grandchildren.

DW Hunter has filed a $2 billion dollar lawsuit against Quaker Oats, PepsiCo,  Pinnacle Foods Group and The Hillshire Brands Company for using his great grandmother’s image  without “equitable fair share of royalties.”

After Harrington took on the role of the Aunt Jemima character in 1935, her likeness was used by the companies and a trademark was registered for it.

The lawsuit alleges that even though Harrington’s image was used for Aunt Jemima, the companies denied that she was ever an employee and exploited her image and recipes for profit.

Hunter also alleges that the company lied when claiming it could not find an employment history for Harrington or images of her, since they trademarked her image.

According to The Wrap, the company also exploited the image of Harrington’s daughter as well:

Harrington took on the role of the pre-existing character of Aunt Jemima in 1935. In 1937, the company first registered the trademark for the brand. She was allegedly selected because of her own pancake recipe, which the company recreated for the mass market.

According to the suit, Quaker Oats sought out Harrington’s youngest daughter Olivia Hunter in 1989, ultimately using her likeness to update the look of Aunt Jemima. It is this image that is used today on Aunt Jemima-branded products.

It’s not only about the images since the lawsuit accuses the companies of stealing “64 original formulas and 22 menus from Harrington.”

The lawsuit claims that the companies exploited Harrington’s lack of education by discouraging her from using an attorney during negotiations.

The suit claims that the companies not only used Harrington’s image, but also licensed it out to other companies for profit.

Harrington’s family learned in 2013 that Harrington’s image had been trademarked and are now seeking royalties.



  1. Lynn Magnuson

    August 9, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    This is seriously ripping someone(s) off. Aunt Jemima and her daughter both should be paid for their services. With damages. With all the years of being ripped off, the companies using her image will be OWNED by that family!

  2. Tee

    August 9, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Good for them, I hope they win.

  3. Johnny

    August 9, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    The chickens are coming home to roost. Next stop; the music industry. C’mon! Step up grandchildren and great grandchildren!

  4. jaime love

    August 9, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    That’s what “they” do, steal, kill, and destroy for profit and power. They did the same thing to Henrietta Lacks’ family. THIEVES!

  5. madpoet429

    August 9, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Way to go Brother, get what is owed to your family!

  6. ericaf

    August 9, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    #IGNORE ANASTASIA. Good for him.

  7. Denise

    August 9, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Anastasia, you are a racist ignorant bitch. You obviously have a learning disability because you can’t understand what you read. This woman’s and her daughter’s images were STOLEN!!!!! Their recipes were STOLE!! Her family is seeking restitution and damages for these women who were exploited and not given the compensation to which they were ENTITLED. You are just envious and jealous. You are what’s wrong with this country.

  8. Read and think!

    August 9, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Anastasia get a WHAT ? It’s ok for the family member to be exploited and say nothing? Well, you fool! The family should get paid for the next four generations. Pay up SUCKERS.

  9. Anthony allen

    August 9, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Get what belongs to your family. The only thing that white man is good at is stealing without compensation. He is the consumate lier and thief. Retain your legal representation and acquire the wealth that belonged to your great grandmother.

    • Roma

      August 9, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      My Great Aunt also played that role from Hearne,Tx,her name was Rosie lee Moore Hammond ,so we all will get paid.

      • Kaye Fullyove

        August 10, 2014 at 3:35 pm

        @Roma; I think you mean Rosie Lee Moore-Hall (not Hammond)and she is buried at the Hammond Colony Cemetery in Black Jack, Robertson County Texas. My family hails from Robertson and Falls Counties.
        You’re right; she portrayed the last Aunt Jemima character for 25 years before she died in 1967.
        I’m glad to see someone finally do something about this after all of these years. These corporations have ripped off our ancestors long enough and it’s about time for their heirs to benefited financially.

  10. karen y

    August 9, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    Anastasia is nothing but a troll! This family was exploited and used for profits so pay up time!!! Learn some comprehension skills then you can start to comment intelligently on the subjects…take a seat !

  11. Regina

    August 9, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    It is about time, this family got what is rightfully theirs. As for Anaskank, what about your white race, raping, stealing and pillaging?

    This lawsuit shows what you praise is what your race is constantly doing. CRIMINAL ACTS.

  12. Natasha

    August 9, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    I don’t understand how this family is suing when the original Pancake queen and the 1st and only “trademark” ever for any product is Nancy Green. She toured the country and the world selling Aunt Jemima pancakes with her face as the trademark to the product. She died as a pedestrian struck and killed by a car in the 1920s. So whatever this great grandchild is claiming…his grandmother was not the originator. Maybe that’s why.

  13. ed Wright

    August 9, 2014 at 9:25 pm


  14. April

    August 9, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Good for him…n Natasha can u not read they used his grandmothers picture her face for a new updated cover so hell yea sue….n anastasia u a thot a stupid one at that

  15. Marcia

    August 9, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    Anastasia ! Y r u on this site anyway ! Plz go on ur own white racist site like Fox News !

  16. Robert

    August 10, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Way to go! Get a fair share of what’s yours.

  17. kathy

    August 10, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Let’s understand that she read the article .She didn’t understand the article. That why her comments sound so Damm crazy.
    education is so important and reading comprehension is the very core of it

  18. D. Gray

    August 10, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    The foundation of Business Law is:
    Service Rendered Payment is Due.

  19. zana

    August 10, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    To even see David challenge Goliath is a blessing and should inspire all of us.

  20. zana

    August 10, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    I hope this Anastasia character is a bad joke.

  21. reallydoe

    August 10, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    It’s funny how white people always say black people looking for handouts when white people are stealing from the black people. How ignorant. The wrote the laws that allow them to steal our work creativity and make a profit and look down their noses at us when we see that as unjust. The nerve of these bums

  22. Jacob

    August 10, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Youre all just as racist as Anastasia, this is in no matter an ethnic issue, its a matter of somebody being exploited and then not paid. Smh get your issues prioritized, prejudiced folk.

    • Tempest

      August 10, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      I would say this is two fold, it did occur because of race issues based on the time frame as well as because of being uneducated

  23. Silverback D

    August 10, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    It’s about what is respectfully owed as a result of what was used without obeying the law. It is in my opinion unbias that they are lucky it is only 2 billion. It is not necessary by anyone to racial profile. Getting taking advantage of THATS NOT A GAME!!!

  24. rw

    August 10, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Can’t we all just get along.

  25. VNR

    August 10, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Lets Get along, but pay what is due. That is why we must learn everything there is to know about business matters. And it would help if we pass the information on to our people instead of harboring it. Remember, each one teach one.

  26. deezal

    August 11, 2014 at 3:15 am

    Just sad. All bullshit aside, there are even nicer ways to fuck someone over. That company couldn’t even do wrong right. They could have atleast thrown her family into a poor suburb and gave a $100 a week in the 30’S and made millions in the mean time

  27. deezal

    August 11, 2014 at 3:17 am

    Atleast make her feel like she’s winning……..damn “MUD DUCKS”

  28. AJay

    August 11, 2014 at 4:32 am

    The woman is dead, the great grandson can shove it. He shouldn’t be able to get money off of this. Is she was still alive I’d understand it more

  29. kay

    August 11, 2014 at 7:18 am

    This lady took the role after the original lady died.

  30. Daniel Leibovitz

    August 11, 2014 at 7:30 am

    It is hardly likely that an individual would endorse a product or allow the individual’s likeness to be exclusively used solely to sell the products of the likeness’s trademark holder intl perpetuity for a petty lump sum.

    On the other hand, it could be construed that this was a one-time modelling gig. And, the individual was never bound from exclusively selling the individual’s likeness to market any product and that no endorsement was implied nor use of proprietary recipes was entailed.

    Both side’s can prent any evidence that exists and before it is all played out i. court, a mutually acceptable settleme.t may be reached depending on the confidence on potentially winning in court…

  31. tdatownboss

    August 11, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Okay one thing to remember everyone has the right to have an opinion, no matter how ignorant it is. The fact of the matter is what’s lawful. What were the stipulations of the contract. Every American citizen deserves to be compensated for services rendered. The bad part is the legal jargon probably so confusing that the grandson and his legal team have a Heck of a battle. Hopefully justice with her blind ass see the families point of view.

  32. LARo

    August 11, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    The comment about the woman being dead has no bearing, families have sued for various reasons on behalf of a deceased member so enough about that silly reason. Secondly, I’m sure that the attornies that the grandson hired have already considered what the contract states before agreeing to take the case so they must have at least probable cause for bringing the suit on the grandson’s behalf.Finally yes individuals being exploited must be addressed regardless of race or ethnicity lets not waste precious time focusing soley on that, exploitation and theft had better be addressed no matter by who and no matter on behalf of who, having said that I hope he prevails, we as blacks have been mistreated quite enough and we have just as much right to shine a light on injustice as any other race, religion etc.

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