No wonder today’s collegians are clamoring for safe spaces. There’s nowhere to hide from the crazies, not even if you’re corporate world. Especially if you’re corporate world.
Case in point: On Wednesday, USA Today reported that breakfast cereal giant Kellogg announced that it had redesigned its packaging for Corn Pops after it received a complaint on Twitter about an alleged racist corn pop spotted on the back of the box.
“Why is literally the only brown corn pop on the whole cereal box the janitor?” asked Saladin Ahmed, current writer of Marvel Comics’ Black Bolt series and author of 2012 fantasy novel Throne of the Crescent Moon. “[T]his is teaching kids racism.”
— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) October 24, 2017
“[Y]es 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,” he said in a subsequent tweet.
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…
— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) October 24, 2017
It took Kellogg’s only about five hours to respond, telling Ahmed: “Kellogg is committed to diversity & inclusion. We did not intend to offend – we apologize. The artwork is updated & will be in stores soon.”
I was unable to lay my hands on the precise cost of accommodating a ridiculous charge like this, but when you add in the costs for designing , printing, materials, and shipping, you are talking about a significant cash outlay for the company. And who does Saladin Ahmed, in all his self-righteous wisdom, think ends up paying for the change? Surely, he’s not naïve enough to assume that Kellogg’s absorbs the loss.
Maybe when moms shopping for cereal for their kids notice the price increase, they can contact Ahmed directly.
Meantime, other tweeters, weren’t impressed with the complaint:
You’re right, only yellow Corn Pops should be janitors. And since when did Corn Pops become a race?
— Brady Heilman (@BradyHeilman) October 25, 2017
Probably about the time a Portland principal said she could spot racism in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
“When you give a cereal a face, does it qualify as a living being? Inquiring minds (apparently) want to know,” Amy Kuperinsky wrote.
You could have looked at it as the only responsible, working adult corn pop depicted, but you chose to look at it as racist. Good job.
— Doug Carroll (@dougcarroll5) October 25, 2017
One person suspected there may be sexism at play as well:
Clearly they’re not any race, or gender (do you see males? Interesting) But someone chose to colour the artwork in that way. Why do that?
— Ewan MacKenzie (@ShopMannie) October 25, 2017
Another person observed:
Kellogg’s Apologizes for Making Racist Corn Pops
HOW are they RACIST? They give EVERYBODY a case of DIABETES, equally.
— Laughing Nimbus (@10ofWands) October 25, 2017
USA Today added:
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.
According to Dove, the clip “was intended to convey that Dove Body Wash is for every woman and be a celebration of diversity.”
Moisturizer Shea Moisture apologized for an online video ad about hair products sold at Target earlier this year, USA Today said, noting: “The commercial featured white women, but the hair product company has long catered to women of color.”
Breitbart.com, a site which was targeted by the company, reported:
It’s not the first time Kellogg’s has demonstrated its hypersensitivity to leftist pressure. The company pulled ads from Breitbart News in November following leftist complaints, declaring that our more than 45 million monthly readers are “not aligned with [Kellogg’s] values as a company.”
Breitbart responded with a #DumpKellogg’s campaign, which led to more than 435,000 people pledged to stop buying Kellogg’s products. Kellogg’s went on to report a $53 million loss in the fourth quarter, while also facing a plummeting stock price. Kellogg’s CEO John Bryant denied that the losses had anything to do with Breitbart’s boycott.
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