Kellogg’s has apologized for what some are calling a racist cereal box cartoon. Twitter user Saladin Ahmed tweeted out a picture of the box, which depicts a scene with Corn Pops “people”. All of the Corn Pops people are the signature yellow color associated with the cereal, save for one.
Near the bottom of the racist cereal box, there’s one Corn Pop that appears to have darker “skin” than the other Corn Pops. The darker Corn Pop is dressed as a janitor and is cleaning the floors.
Saladin Ahmed, a novelist, noticed the disparity and tweeted out a picture of the box. In his tweet, he tagged the official Kellogg’s account.
— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) October 24, 2017
Kellogg’s, to their credit, was very quick to respond. They apologized and said the artwork has been updated and 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
It’s refreshing to see a brand respond to criticism quickly and efficiently! We’ve all seen brands bury themselves with poor responses or qualified apologies. Some people who saw the original tweet agreed that the box was problematic.
u might not notice if ur not paying attention. Pointed out, it stands out so much. There's no way the artist didn't do this intentionally.
— fleurs sauvages (@fleurs_sauvages) October 26, 2017
@KelloggsUS Thank you for doing the right thing and making a simple but profound change to your cereal packaging. Gotta have my Pops!
— bingbongbingbingbong (@Choice4Prez) October 26, 2017
The small things add up. This is wrong on so many levels. Glad you’re making it right.
— Avery (@IdFollowMe) October 26, 2017
As he said,kids are staring at that cereal box as they eat cereal in the a.m. It's the little things. Remember, racism is a learned behavior
— Holly Shaw-Hollis (@philateech) October 26, 2017
However, many people disagreed with Ahmed’s depiction of the racist cereal box.
@saladinahmed when ppl make a big deal about nothing. Our society has become a joke overly sensitive offended by anything. Grow a pair
— DJ Arthur Looby (@arthurlooby) October 25, 2017
Maybe he owns the place and taking care of business, or maybe he OWNS a cleaning company.Why diminish entrepreneurship? #makingupissues
— Deplorable Jen (@JenFL912) October 25, 2017
Most sensible people won't have an opinion about it BECAUSE IT'S A BOX OF CEREAL!
— Rett Boaz (@BrowncoatBoaz) October 25, 2017
True, it is just a box of cereal. But a lot of kids will see that, and possibly internalize the subtle message. In any event, making a small change to a cereal box in an effort to be more inclusive is a nice move on Kellogg’s part.
Kellogg’s willingness to listen and make changes shows, at the very least, that they understand how the cartoon could be perceived as racist. Not everyone is going to agree, obviously. However, it’s a small change that hurts literally no one, and rights a perceived wrong. Kudos to Kellogg’s for being a part of the solution, and for being willing to do the work.
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