Cheerios Ad Featuring Bi-Racial Couple Sparks an Overflow of Racist Comments
A new ad might be at the top of the “Cute-ometer,” but not if you’re a flat out racist. Cheerios took the bold step of including an interracial couple in an advertisement, only to find that the racist comments on Youtube would be nothing short of overwhelming. The ad features a cute little girl speaking to her white mother about the health effects of Cheerios. The girl looks like she could be bi-racial, likely leading audience members to wonder if they would get a chance to see her dad.
Then, when the mother tells the daughter that Cheerios are good for the heart, the camera goes to her black father, who is sleeping on the couch. As he gets up, he notices that his daughter has poured an entire box of Cheerios on his chest in order to give him a healthy heart (get it?).
The socially brave commercial featuring an interracial couple and their daughter led to 1,600 likes on Youtube, and 500 dislikes. This led the company to shut down the comments section to mute the racial hatred that tends to loosen up on the Internet. Apparently, Cheerios might have been better off using a gay couple.
In fact, people were making references to N*azis, racial genocide and all kinds of other uncomfortable concepts in the comments. It just got real ugly, real fast.
A CNN panel recently addressed the racism and nasty comments that can often appear on Youtube, where there is no call for political correctness:
“Everyone gets hate comments on YouTube,” said Andre Meadows, the creator of the Black Nerd Comedy channel. “You can make the most wonderful video in the world and you will get ‘Fake!’ and ‘Gay!’”But for minority creators, “when you get comments, it seems to be targeted toward race almost immediately. A lot of people get ‘dumb video, stupid video’ — but with mine it immediately goes to racial slurs.”
Some of the commenters even wondered why a black man would take care of his family. But some were grateful to Cheerios for putting out the ad:
“Having been mixed in the ’70s, I’d like to thank everyone at Cheerios for making a commercial with an interracial couple! Going to buy boxes today! Many thanks for reflecting what my family looked like,” said Beschelle Lockhart.
Cheerios chimed in to say that it’s all good and that they are glad they released the advertisement.
“Consumers have responded positively to our new Cheerios ad. At Cheerios, we know there are many kinds of families and we celebrate them all,” Camille Gibson, Cheerios vice president of marketing, told Gawker.
If you ever thought that racism was dead, just look at the Internet.