Kellogg’s is receiving major backlash for how it portrayed a character on its Corn Pops cereal box. The cereal company was called out by a Twitter user on Tuesday, October 24, for “teaching kids racism” by making the only brown corn pop in the box a janitor.
Author Saladin Ahmed tweeted photos of the back of the cereal box, which featured corn pops playing a variety of different roles in a factory, and pointed out the issue he saw. “Hey @KelloggsUS why is literally the only brown corn pop on the whole cereal box the janitor? this is teaching kids racism,” Ahmed wrote.
He added: “Yes it’s a tiny thing, but when you see your kid staring at this over breakfast and realize millions of other kids are doing the same…”
— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) October 24, 2017
The cereal company tweeted a response the same day: “Kellogg is committed to diversity & inclusion. We did not intend to offend – we apologize. The artwork is updated & will be in stores soon.”
Kellogg is committed to diversity & inclusion. We did not intend to offend – we apologize. The artwork is updated & will be in stores soon.
— Kellogg's (@KelloggsUS) October 24, 2017
While the cereal maker had a positive response to the accusation of racism, other users on Twitter didn’t. Ahmed tweeted that he had been receiving a lot of hate in his mentions since posting the photos: “More slurs and threats than usual in my mentions right now. I’d appreciate folks reporting tweets along these lines. I can’t read any more.”
more slurs and threats than usual in my mentions right now. I’d appreciate folks reporting tweets along these lines. I can’t read any more.
— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) October 25, 2017
Kellogg’s is the latest of other major companies that have been dealing with accusations of racism via social media, including Dove, Skittles, American Airlines and Nivea. Dove recently made a formal apology after one of their Facebook ads sparked major controversy. An ad for Dove’s body wash featured a GIF of women taking off their shirts to reveal another woman underneath. Social media users began questioning why they chose to start with a woman with darker skin and then turning her into a woman with lighter skin.
Dove took to Facebook to post an apology following the intense backlash, writing, “Dove is committed to representing the beauty of diversity. In an image we posted this week, we missed the mark in thoughtfully representing women of color and we deeply regret the offense that it has caused.”
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