Marvel comic writer Saladin Ahmed noticed something racist on the back of his kid’s box of Corn Pops, and because of the power of Twitter, Kellogg’s has actually apologized for it.
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
Ahmed was perfectly aware that it was a small detail, but his point revolved around the idea of representation. If characters with darker skin tones—whether that’s on television, in a movie, or on a popular cereal box—are only ever represented doing certain types of jobs, or not represented at all, children with darker skin tones will have fewer role models to look up to. And that’s a problem, especially because white children can look up to almost any kind of character imaginable.
Kellogg’s immediately responded to Ahmed, thanking him for bringing it to their attention and assuring him that the illustration would be changed from here on out.
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 was appreciative and cordial with the brand.
genuinely appreciate the rapid response— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) October 24, 2017
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
Many people agreed with Ahmed and thanked him for bringing the matter to Kellogg’s attention.
The small things add up. This is wrong on so many levels. Glad you’re making it right.— Avery (@IdFollowMe) October 26, 2017
u might not notice if ur not paying attention. Pointed out, it stands out so much. There's no way the artist didn't do this intentionally.— fleurs sauvages (@fleurs_sauvages) October 26, 2017
@KelloggsUS Thank you for doing the right thing and making a simple but profound change to your cereal packaging. Gotta have my Pops!— bingbongbingbingbong (@Choice4Prez) October 26, 2017
However, many thought Ahmed was seeing a problem where there really wasn’t one.
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
Perspective: janitor pop is only responsible one with a job who is also btw clothed and smiling. All the others look high and irresponsible— Jerri Manthey (@jerrimanthey) October 25, 2017
Oh my God people, CORN POPS DON'T HAVE A RACE. #kelloggs— Inez Stepman (@InezFeltscher) October 26, 2017
At the bare minimum, the darker corn pop stands out massively in the already busy scene. Not only is he the darkest of the Corn Pops, he’s also one of the only ones who is fully dressed and is not interacting with anyone else besides a machine. Ahmed was not implying that the racism was direct, and instead just a small example of how racist stereotypes and prejudices are propagated in seemingly insignificant ways.
There’s also this depiction of a corn pop getting its corn hair braided by another corn pop. Now, is that racist, corny, or both?
Okay but I'm screaming at this pop getting its hair braided by a ninja pop pic.twitter.com/eoxLwT83g1— i go by ive now (@TheLessTerrible) October 26, 2017