12:18pm PT by Graeme McMillan
Marvel Writer Convinces Kellogg's to Change Racially Insensitive Cereal Box Artwork
In what might be the most unlikely sentence of 2017 — and that's saying a lot — Kellogg's has confirmed that it will be replacing key art on boxes of Corn Pops cereal following complaints of racial insensitivity from the writer of one of Marvel Entertainment's most critically acclaimed current comic books.
Saladin Ahmed, writer of Marvel's Black Bolt as well as the novel Throne of the Crescent Moon, tweeted at the cereal giant Tuesday to ask about the "Pop Shoppe" box artwork, which anthropomorphizes corn pops in a mall setting. Amid scenes of golden pops skipping, running and playing in fountains, the image shows one brown pop cleaning the floor while wearing a uniform — something that Ahmed found concerning.
"Hey @KelloggsUS why is literally the only brown corn pop on the whole cereal box the janitor?" he tweeted. "This is teaching kids racism." Ahmed then added, "Yes it's a tiny thing, but when you see your kid staring at this over breakfast and realize millions of other kids are doing the same…"
Within hours, Kellogg's responded, tweeting, "Kellogg is committed to diversity & inclusion. We did not intend to offend — we apologize. The artwork is updated & will be in stores soon."
In a statement released later to USA Today, a Kellogg's spokesperson 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."
Ahmed's final word on the subject came, fittingly, on Twitter. After thanking Kellogg's for its swift reaction, he tweeted, "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."