Kellogg's Cereal Box Cartoon Depicts Lone Brown Corn Pop As A Janitor

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The problem with the illustration showing a lone brown corn pop was raised by a novelist on Twitter, prompting users to have political debates over the incident.

It’s incredibly depressing to think that, in 2017, we still have to fight to get racist references dropped from labels of popular products.

Kellogg’s Corn Pops cereal box comes with an illustration depicting little yellow corn pop characters hanging out at a shopping mall. So, when novelist Saladin Ahmed noticed that the only non-yellow corn pop in the scene was a brown-skinned janitor, he had to do something about it.

On Twitter, Ahmed tagged Kellogg’s and asked the company: “why is literally the only brown corn pop on the whole cereal box the janitor?”

The character, which is seen in a blue uniform cleaning the floors, is the only one with a darker complexion, prompting several online users to call the company racist over the illustration.

Ahmed explained that the small but concerning detail may be “a tiny thing,” but millions of children nationwide are also seeing this.

Within five hours after the tweet went live, Kellogg’s responded.

In a tweet, the company said that it takes its commitment to diversity and inclusion seriously and that Corn Pops labels are being updated and should be in stores everywhere in the near future.

In a separate statement, the company said that the illustration was never meant to offend anybody and that they are sincerely sorry for what happened.

On Twitter, the incident ballooned into a political debate.

Despite the company's quick response and willingness to act so promptly, we must wonder how long this image has been used on this particular brand of cereal and why the firm was not aware of this issue until a consumer brought it up. Is racism such a huge part of people’s lives that they simply ignore it when they see it?

Perhaps, the fact nobody at Kellogg’s ever noticed the problem might answer that question.

Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

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