Kellogg’s have apologised after its customers complained about the ‘racist’ cartoon art which was found on one of their cereal boxes.
Saladin Ahmed, a writer for Marvel comics, was rather surprised when he noticed something strange and racist on his box of Corn Pop cereal.
Taking to Twitter on Wednesday he wrote:
Hey @KelloggsUS. Why is literally the only brown corn pop on the whole cereal box the janitor?
This is teaching kids racism.
Yes it’s a tiny thing, but when you see your kid staring at this over breakfast and realise millions of other kids are doing the same…
— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) October 24, 2017
The cereal box art clearly shows several yellow ‘corn pops’ performing various activities including juggling and bathing in a fountain.
However, the one corn pop which is a darker shade than the others, very obviously stands out from the rest.
Worst of all, he appears to be dressed as a janitor, complete with blue jumpsuit cleaning the floors.
A lot of people were outraged and took to social media to voice their anger at the cereal giants:
Another company with an “unintentional” racist ad. Clever attempt to appeal to racists and normal people alike? #kelloggs
— Semere (@Semere91) October 26, 2017
It's the subtles that inflict programming. It's done so cleverly most people gloss over it. It's like Disney using suggestions in cartoons!
— Jeffery Hill, MBA (@hillje1906) October 26, 2017
Meanwhile many criticised Ahmed claiming he was overreacting and nitpicking:
Dark Pop doesn't really have a job. It's a drawing. None of the pops are real.
— gr8 caesar's ghost? (@ChrisCaesar) October 25, 2017
@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
Twitter user Rett Boaz wasn’t happy with Ahmed’s complaint saying:
It just tells me how completely spoiled a human being is if they feel the need to fire off a complaint over the colour of a corn pop.
Most sensible people won’t have an opinion about it BECAUSE IT’S A BOX OF CEREAL!
Brady Heilman added:
You’re right, only yellow Corn Pops should be janitors. And since when did Corn Pops become a race?
Nathan Platt also complained at Ahmed exclaiming:
How much time do you have on your hands to find this? How can a Corn Pop box teach racism? Are nudists offended the Corn Pops are naked?
Despite the ongoing debate, Kellogg’s did the sensible thing and were quick to respond to Ahmed’s original tweet.
Kellogg is committed to diversity & inclusion. We did not intend to offend – we apologise.
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
You’d think this would have resolved the matter, but this is the internet and so, people are still arguing about whether the original cartoon was racist.
As well as this, Ahmed is still being sent abuse about his original comment online with his Twitter being inundated by critics.
Today I used the computer in my pocket to get a cereal company to make their boxes less racist. What even is the 21st century?
Avoiding my mentions which are particularly full of upset racist dipsh*ts right now. Sorry if this means I’ve missed your non-dipsh*t words.
All the people yelling YOU JUST *WANT* TO BE OFFENDED! are so mad. It’s almost like they just *want* to be offended.
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.
FWIW bigots with hurt feelings are trying to hack my twitter so if I suddenly start tweeting in an uncharacteristic manner that’s what’s up
— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) October 26, 2017
Who would have thought a cereal box could cause such a fuss online?
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.