Most Cheerios commercials are marketed to families, using adorable children and blissful couples to endorse the wholesomeness of the cereal. It is difficult to discern how the latest Cheerios television advertisement differs from all of the others – except the couple portrayed is interracial with a black father, white mother and biracial children.
The release of the ad sparked a wave of discrimination on YouTube and other sites. Cheerios disabled YouTube comments to curb the onslaught of negative commentary, but screenshots live forever.
One comment read: “They want to throw white children and coloured children into the melting pot of integration, out of which will come a conglomerated, mulatto, MONGREL class of people! Both races will be destroyed in such a movement. I for one, under God will die before I’ll yield one inch…”
It was cosigned with dozens of up-votes.
Other platforms – including Reddit – were also bombarded with bigots. The comments ranged from “White guy here. It checks out” to “Finallym [sic] now that Cheerios has made a commercial with an interracial family we can all rise to a heightened state of enlightenment.”
It didn’t end there. There were also discussions about the black dad being lazy with high cholesterol as “all black dads are.” The comments on these sites reek Jim Crow and new-age Internet racism.
The Internet provides a platform for racists to hide behind computer screens and spew vitriol, but that isn’t stopping Cheerios from valuing its advertisement.
Camille Gibson, vice president of marketing for Cheerios, told Gawker, “Consumers have responded positively to our new Cheerios ad. At Cheerios, we know there are many kinds of families and we celebrate them all.”
Despite Gibson’s optimism, the response to the advertisement proves colorblind ideology will forever remain a wish.
What do you think of the response to the advertisement Clutchettes?