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Aunt Jemima Heirs

File $2 Billion Royalty Lawsuit

8/9/2014 7:23 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

Aunt Jemima's relatives say they got screwed out of her pancake money following her death in 1955 ... and now, they're looking for reparations to the tune of 2 BILLION DOLLARS!!

The great grandson of Anna Short Harrington -- who took over the Jemima character in 1937 -- filed a lawsuit against PepsiCo, the Quaker Oats Company and 2 other businesses on behalf of her heirs.

D.W. Hunter claims the companies conspired to deny Harrington was a Quaker Oats employee ... but continued to exploit her image for more than 60 years without paying up.

Harrington was selected for the role because of her pancake recipe -- which they recreated for the grocery store ... but her family believes racial exploitation was involved in the deal.

They claim Harrington was talked out of using a lawyer -- exploiting her lack of education so the company wouldn't have to pay for her recipe.


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Nobody should put that fake crap on pancakes

73 days ago


Always want something for nothing.

73 days ago


They never even paid her when she was alive?! That's f'd up!

73 days ago


Wow I am sure most of her family that she knew have died. Now the younger lazy generation want something for nothing. Shakespeare was right. Kill all the Lawyers first so they can't file these BS lawsuits.

73 days ago

Supr Dav     

What next, are the going to claim to be related to Roddy McDowell?

73 days ago


Beautiful woman !

73 days ago


Love the sly use of the word "reparations" to incite people to feel a certain way. If they used her recipe and her image they owe her. Same way whites get to pass their inheritance down from generation to generation her family should get what's old. The most evil race in the world is always exploiting people and profiting from it. They only time they work hard is when they are destroying other people.

73 days ago


Now it's not even real syrup. Well sorta. It's high fructose corn syrup. Pretty crappy they never paid her. And her family should be entitled to royalties. But kinda fishy the great grandson is the first one trying to get money from her. Who knows though. Maybe her kids tried and lost.

73 days ago

devil's advocate    

What's next? Are all the 'little people' who had relatives who worked at Keebler Co. and may have resembled one of the elves going to file . How about those who had relatives at Green Giant? The Quaker Oats Company first registered the Aunt Jemima trademark in April 1937, therefore, there is no case. Whoever registers the trademark first is the owner.

73 days ago


To all those evil corporate execs

73 days ago


Fat chance of you getting a dime, Buddy!

73 days ago

You Don't Know    

I am all for them getting paid what they are owed. However, if you wait 60 years, it must not have bothered you too much. Is there some kind of statute of limitations on this? This seems a bit ridiculous.

73 days ago


Good luck going up against Quaker Oats! They have endless resources for attorneys. It is my understanding that they used Harrington's likeness for their product in the 1950's and then used her youngest daughter's likeness (Olivia Hunter) in 1989. They were likely paid for this, a claim now that the recipe is theirs is laughable! Where were they for 60 years?

73 days ago

Cookie Lady    

1937? For sure she was exploited. Not only because she was black but also because that was the way it was done then. As for the family cashing in now? Any money that she would have been given would probably have been used up by now and the family would be as money-grubbing middle to low class as they are now. The company should show a depreciation scale history of her heirs up to the present time. Chances are they'd end up owing the company.

73 days ago

Eye roll     

I'm sure she was paid. It's about contracts. If she was persuaded out of hiring a lawyer.... She still should have gotten one. Waiting to hear kanyes response to this.

73 days ago
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