Cheerios' interracial family ad sparks racist backlash
General Mills gets hit with vicious comments on YouTube, showing just how little most advertising reflects American reality.
A new Cheerios ad is so sweetly innocuous that it seems no one could possibly hate it. But apparently, the depiction of an interracial couple and their daughter (pictured) was enough to spark a barrage of racist responses.
The ad itself is remarkably unremarkable. An adorable biracial girl asks her mom whether Cheerios are really heart-healthy. The mom, who is white, responds by reading some promotional material from the box, and then the girl runs off clutching the cereal container. Her dad, who is black, wakes up from a nap on the couch with Cheerios poured over his chest.
It's not as if interracial couples are unknown in TV. After all, one of the first was featured on the 1970s comedy "The Jeffersons." Today, there is no lack of interracial relationships on TV, from British shows such as "Doctor Who" and "Misfits" to American dramas such as NBC's "Parenthood."
Despite the increasing popularity of interracial couples on shows, the ad industry hasn't made as much progress, Advertising Age reported last year. The trade magazine recalled one exception, a Verizon Communications (VZ) ad from several years before that featured a white dad and a Hispanic mom.
That means the ad industry isn't reflecting the reality of a changing America. Interracial and inter-ethnic opposite-sex-couple households jumped by 28% from 2000 to 2010, according to the Census Bureau.
Despite the haters, the ad might go some way toward burnishing Cheerios' reputation. While some people also wrote hateful comments on Cheerios' Facebook page, others expressed their fondness for the ad and said they'd buy the cereal in support of General Mills.
One wrote: "Never cared much for your brand but will buy it now just because of the interracial family commercial. Thank you!"
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
Thats becaus every single mixed race couple dipidted in advertising is a white woman and a black man.
You will never see a white man and an asian or any other mixed race couple. Totally racist Madison avenue and Hollywood mind set.
My favorite breakfast is a bowl of Cheerios with a sliced banana or bluberries and skim milk and no commercial is going to make me stop eating it. Interracial relationships are so common place today. I have an interracial family living on my block. They're a nice family and everybody in the neighborhood likes them and gets along with them. I've seen the Cheerios ad and I think it's adorable. People need to lighten up and learn how to get along.
Let me first make a disclosure, I have several mixed grandchildren and my love is equal for all. Being a totally integrated family leaves me with one unanswered question all people should be asking one another no matter the race. Being white I ask this question of all people. When was the last time you saw national ads showing black women in ad's with white men? If the white girls did not integrate with the black men all these agencies such as NAACP, Black Panthers, Jessie Jackson and others would be all up in arms about this inequality on the planet. When do we see total integration from the black female side over to the white male population? We should be talking about this issue on the national news channels, CNN, HLN, and other avenues. Are we just afraid of what might happen our do we boldly as why to one another does this exist on Main Street, Wall Street, and all over Hollywood.
Thank you to General Mills for validating American reality and invalidating people who hate someone and are cruel to children because of the color of their skin. Racism hurts. It is not justified. Thsi little girl and many other children in the U.S. are probably crying because of the stupid abusive people writing racist things. Writing racist things and emotionally abusing people is not okay. Abuse is not free speech. The idea of free speech is supposed to protect the people from abusive governments, etc.
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