Can a Corn Puff be Racist?

Kellogg’s is in hot water after a Twitter user noticed a small but upsetting detail on the back of his son’s cereal box.

Saladin Ahmed noticed that among the many yellow corn puff characters on the box, there was a singular brown puff character. Not only that, but while the other corn puffs were playing around the mall, the brown corn puff was depicted as a janitor.

“This is teaching kids racism.” Ahmed said in a tweet.

Many Twitter users felt the same way, tweeting that the image was upsetting and gross misrepresentation of people of color. Many considered the tweet to be “blind.”

Kellogg’s quickly responded to Ahmed’s tweet, stating that the company is “committed to diversity & inclusion.” The company also stated that it is updating the artwork.

“We take feedback very seriously, and it was never our intention to offend anyone.We apologize sincerely.” Kris Charles, a spokesman for Kellogg’s, told USA Today.

However, not everyone thought that the cereal box was racist or even intentional. One Twitter user thought the box could have been a coloration mistake, while another called for the “oversensitive narrative” to stop.

Others called out Ahmed for being racist and assuming that the janitor position is a lesser or unimportant role.  “Don’t diminish entrepeneurship.” A dissenting user said in a tweet.

Others didn’t take the matter seriously at all, tweeting “We are living in a time where people are accusing cereal of being racist.” Another user noted how there are more important topics to debate other than the color of corn puffs on a cereal box.

Do you think the matter is worthy of debate? Do you think it was racist, a mistake or nothing at all? Let us know in the comments below!

This entry was posted in Elan and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Can a Corn Puff be Racist?

  1. Lisa Travis says:

    This was a very interesting and easily avoidable issue that arose. I believe it doesn’t matter if some people find the original tweeter’s reaction to be overstated. If a brand is trending for potentially racist content, they have to respond and make amends. Alienating customers with controversial content as a cereal company is not something to ignore. This matter is worthy of debate, but I do believe the reaction from the Kellogg’s social media team was appropriate and timely. Changing the artwork without question was the best move they could have made in this instance. I do agree with @TwistedPhilly’s commentary though – how did this get past so many design teams and executives? A discoloration is unlikely given the amount of testing each box must go through before the full nationwide shipment is approved to print. I cannot speak to the reasoning behind it, but I find it hard to believe this was an instruction from the company’s leadership or anything intended to make a statement on behalf of Kellogg’s as a whole. I am interested to see if there are any reported repercussions from this error.

Comments are closed.