Perhaps it was a printing room faux pas? A bit of the color sepia meant for the awning on the ‘Corn on a Stick’ stand crept in and colored the janitor in the same hue. Perhaps, the artist made a mistake? Whatever the reason, the Kellogg’s cartoon art on the back of their Kellogg’s Corn Pops box, has stirred up enough of a backlash for them to issue an apology and a redesign.
According to ABC News, it all started over breakfast for Ahmed Saladin, the Marvel Comics writer and winner of the Locus Award for Best First Novel for his 2012 novel, Throne of the Cresent Moon.
Saladin sat down for a fully balanced breakfast with his son and noticed, among all the other cartoon pops enjoying themselves at the mall, there was only one busying himself with work; custodial work to be exact. Apart from the blue overalls common to the trade, this particular Pop happened to be brown. In Mr. Saladin’s mind, this was a gross misrepresentation of janitors and cartoon Pops everywhere. Saladin was concerned that millions of other children sitting down to breakfast might gather that the brown Pop or brown people were only fit to be janitors.
— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) October 24, 2017
He took to Twitter to magnify his disapproval.
“Hey @KelloggsUS why is literally the only brown corn pop on the whole cereal box the janitor? this is teaching kids racism.”
This kicked off a series of other tweets all aimed at denouncing the cereal box art. It took only five hours for Kellogg’s to quickly respond with an apology.
“Kellogg is committed to diversity and inclusion, we did not intend to offend — we apologize.”
The Battle Creek, Michigan based multinational cereal conglomerate, known for its less controversial brands such as Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes and plain old Corn Flakes, for which a growling tiger and a docile rooster are mascots, said it has already replaced the offensive cartoon. According to ABC News, it vowed to redo the artwork accused of teaching kids racism. One can’t help but wonder if this whole debacle could have been avoided if they had just stuck to shooting Pops of out of the letter O in the name, much like they did back in the 80s.
[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/ Getty Images]