As heard during Same TOP 5 at 6:20a
Kellogg's to replace racially insensitive Corn Pops boxes following Twitter call out
Mike SniderUpdated 4:16 a.m. ET Oct. 26, 2017
Kellogg's will be redesigning Corn Pops cereal boxes after a complaint about racially insensitive art on the packaging.
The Battle Creek, Mich.-based cereal and snack maker said on Twitter Wednesday it will replace the cover drawing of cartoon characters shaped like corn kernels populating a shopping mall. The corn pop characters are shown shopping, playing in an arcade or frolicked in a fountain. One skateboards down an escalator.
What struck Saladin Ahmed was that a single brown corn pop was working as a janitor operating a floor waxer. Ahmed, current writer of Marvel Comics' Black Bolt series and author of 2012 fantasy novel Throne of the Crescent Moon, took to Twitter on Tuesday to ask, "Why is literally the only brown corn pop on the whole cereal box the janitor? this is teaching kids racism."
He added in a subsequent post: "yes its 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's responded to Ahmed on the social media network about five hours later that "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
Ahmed noted that he appreciated "the rapid response" from Kellogg's.
genuinely appreciate the rapid response— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) October 24, 2017
In a statement to USA TODAY, spokesperson Kris Charles said Kellogg respects all people and is committed to diversity.
"We take feedback very seriously, and it was never our intention to offend anyone," he said in a statement. "We apologize sincerely."
He confirmed that the package artwork has been updated and will begin to appear on store shelves.The Kellogg's Corn Pops incident follows some other recent marketing snafus.
Earlier this month, Dove apologized for a three-second video posted on Facebook that many found racially insensitive. The clip showed a black woman removing a brown T-shirt to reveal a white woman underneath, who then with another T-shirt removal became an Asian woman. An image showing just the black woman and white woman spread virally on social media, causing additional outrage.
The initial clip "was intended to convey that Dove Body Wash is for every woman and be a celebration of diversity," the company said in a statement.
In April, Shea Moisture apologized over an online video ad about its hair products being on sale at Target. The commercial featured white women, but the hair product company has long catered to women of color.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.