Kellogg's will be remaking Corn Pops cereal boxes after a complaint about racially insensitive art on the packaging.
The Battle Creek, Mich.-based cereal and snack maker said on Twitter Wednesday it will replace the art, which showed cartoon corn pops populating a retail mall. Some pops were shown shopping as others played in an arcade or frolicked in a fountain, while another skateboarded down an escalator.
What struck Saladin Ahmed was that a single brown pop was working as a janitor waxing the floors. Ahmed, current writer of Marvel Comics' Black Bolt series and author of 2012 fantasy novel Throne of the Crescent Moon, took to Twitter Tuesday to ask, "Why is literally the only brown corn pop on the whole cereal box the janitor? this is teaching kids racism."
He added in a subsequent post: "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…"
Kellogg's responded to Ahmed on the social media network about five hours later that "Kellogg is committed to diversity & inclusion. We did not intend to offend – we apologize. The artwork is updated & 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
Ahmed noted that he appreciated "the rapid response" from Kellogg's.
genuinely appreciate the rapid response— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) October 24, 2017
In a statement to USA TODAY, spokesperson Kris Charles said: "Kellogg Company has respect for all people, and our commitment to diversity and inclusion has long been a top priority. We take feedback very seriously, and it was never our intention to offend anyone. We apologize sincerely. The package artwork has been updated and will begin to appear on store shelves soon as it flows through distribution.”
The Kellogg's Corn Pops incident follows some other recent marketing snafus. Earlier this month, Dove apologized for a three-second video posted on Facebook that many found racially insensitive. The clip showed a black woman removing a brown T-shirt to reveal a white woman underneath, suggesting Dove Body Wash had cleansed her.
In April, Shea Moisture apologized over an online video ad about its hair products being on sale at Target. The commercial featured white women, but the hair product company has long catered to women of color.