Who would have thought that a cereal box would become the center of racial controversy? Well, it’s 2017 so why not.
Since I could remember cereal boxes have always had some sort of mascot on them. The Trix Rabbit or the Lucky Charms Leprechaun are two examples I enjoyed. Well, Marvel writer Saladin Ahmed, who writes the Black Bolt series, was not happy about Kellogg’s box art on their Corn Pops cereal. He found the cereal box so offensive he decided to tweet to Kellogg’s about his concern.
hey @KelloggsUS why is literally the only brown corn pop on the whole cereal box the janitor? this is teaching kids racism. pic.twitter.com/Nh7M7IFawW
— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) October 24, 2017
The crux of his complaint is the janitor is a darker yellow Corn Pop than the rest of the Corn Pops. Let’s ignore the fact that Corn Pop people are yellow for right now. He’s claiming that a darker shade of Corn Pop being a janitor is teaching racism to kids. However as one astute Twitter user pointed out, it’s the fact he’s wearing a hat that is making him appear darker than the other Corn Pops.
He's not brown stupid. He's wearing a hat. It's casting a shadow on his face, giving the appearance of a darker complexion. Sensitive much?
— Jcinq (@Jcinq12) October 25, 2017
It’s fascinating a Twitter user had to point this out to a comic book writer, who at the very least should have some knowledge of how art and shading works especially if they are scripting out stories for artists.
Saladin Ahmed was asked about his reasoning for complaining about the cereal. He explained:
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
People weren’t buying it and they rightfully roasted Ahmed for his ridiculous behavior.
My son woke up in the middle of the night, and asked me "will the corn pops be okay?"
I didn't have an answer.
— Andrew Parker (@hyperanomalous) October 26, 2017
This lucky charms character offends my Irish heritage so lucky charms is now racist pic.twitter.com/z57sIqYWve
— Hitlery Cunton (@OfficialCIinton) October 26, 2017
We are living in a time where people are accusing cereal of being racist ?https://t.co/rwTOIK6aPC
— Thunder (@ThunderS7ruck) October 26, 2017
Oh my God people, CORN POPS DON'T HAVE A RACE. #kelloggs
— Inez Stepman (@InezFeltscher) October 26, 2017
One user thought Ahmed was just making something out of nothing and assuming too much about the Corn Pop’s profession. In fact, I tend to agree. This darker pop is actually the only one being responsible. While all the other Pops are out goofing around, this one is getting the job done and he looks like he is having fun while doing it. I wonder how Ahmed would explain that?
Maybe he owns the place and taking care of business, or maybe he OWNS a cleaning company.Why diminish entrepreneurship? #makingupissues
— Deplorable Jen (@JenFL912) October 25, 2017
As for me, I’m a dad, and I just don’t see the huge deal about the artwork. I mean if I saw a pack of puffed corn hanging out next to a darker shade of puffed corn, my first thought wouldn’t be racism.
Shamefully, Kellogg’s succumbed to Saladin’s complaint and apologized noting they have updated the artwork on new boxes that 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
Of course, Kellogg’s isn’t interested in a fight. They just want to sell cereal, and being perceived as racist jerks costs you money. It’s no surprise they responded in this way. However, Kellogg’s needs to be careful. They risk ending up like the NFL if they keep following this path of appeasement.
It didn’t take long for Saladin to take a victory lap about his tirade against Corn Pops. Later he tweeted this gem.
today I used the computer in my pocket to get a cereal company to make their boxes less racist what even is the 21st century
— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) October 25, 2017
I guess Kellogg’s and their Corn Pops are only “less racist” now. SO much for apologizing in order to try and garner good will.
Wow, I mean again they’re yellow Corn Pops, not real people or even representative of real humans. Interestingly enough Saladin completely missed the mannequins, who also are wearing hats. They too are a darker shade of yellow. I guess that means Kellogg’s doesn’t consider the darker yellow pops to be real pops… Guess when you’re on that side of the fence racism just bleeds off of everything.
I got to ask you all as readers. What do you think? Did the sharp eyes of Marvel’s Saladin Ahmed catch something that needed to be fixed? Or was he making a mountain out of a mole hill and creating an issue out of nothing? Let us know in the comments!