Kellogg’s will be redesigning their Corn Pops cereal boxes after being accused of being racially insensitive in their designs.
A tweet from Saladin Ahmed went out on Tuesday accusing the cereal brand giant of a racist drawing on their Corn Pops boxes. Ahmed is a current writer of the Marvel Comics’ Black Bolt series and the 2012 fantasy novel “Throne of the Crescent Moon.” Ahmed went out and tweeted, “Why is literally the only brown corn pop on the whole cereal box the janitor? This is teaching kids racism.”
Ahmed also later added in another tweet, “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.”
Kellogg responded to Ahmed 5 hours later on Twitter, saying, “Kellogg is committed to diversity & inclusion. We did not intend to offend; we apologize. The artwork is updated & will be in stores soon.”
Ahmed had the last word with “genuinely appreciate the rapid response.”
A Kellogg’s spokesperson later sent a statement to USA Today regarding the incident:
“Kellogg Company has respect for all people, and our commitment to diversity and inclusion has long been a top priority. We take feedback very seriously, and it was never our intention to offend anyone. We apologize sincerely. The package artwork has been updated and will begin to appear on store shelves soon as it flows through distribution”
Before the Kellogg incident, there has been plenty of situations where companies have been held responsible for possibly racist ad campaigns. Most recently, Dove released an ad that was put into question. The three-second ad shows a young black woman smiling as she takes off her dark brown shirt to reveal a white woman in a nude shirt. The ad, posted on Dove’s U.S. page, has been taken down after being criticized as racist. Many social media took the ad to mean that the black woman is less clean than the white woman.
Dove later came out in a statement stating, “The ad was intended to convey that Dove Body Wash is for every woman and be a celebration of diversity.”
American Airlines has also recently come under fire. The NAACP released a statement on Tuesday warning African-Americans about traveling with Americans after a series of “disturbing incidents” racially charged.
On one occasion cited by the NAACP, an African-American passenger was moved to the coach section of a flight after purchasing a first-class ticket. A white woman traveling with her was allowed to remain in the first-class section. Another incident reported: an African-American woman and her infant child were removed from a plane when asked if her stroller would be retrieved from checked baggage.
With all of this recent controversy surrounding these various companies, it is apparent that some things need to change around advertising and the way people of color are treated. America alone is getting more diverse as the years go by. According to the Census Bureau, around the 2020 Census is conducted, more than half of the nation’s children are expected to be part of a minority race or ethnic group.
With that projection in mind, people of color deserve to be thought of more when companies make certain actions, such as the Corn Pops box. It may have been an honest mistake, but it shows how actions really can speak louder than words. So here is hope that advertising steers clear of possibly offensive campaigns in years to come and starts moving towards total inclusivity.