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Interracial Cheerios Commercial refers to an advertisement for the Cheerios brand breakfast cereal featuring an interracial family. The commercial triggered a backlash of racist comments after it was posted on YouTube and Reddit in May of 2013.
On May 28th, 2013, the Cheerios YouTube channel uploaded a commercial produced by the advertising company Saatchi & Saatchi titled “Just Checking,” in which a mixed-race child asks her white mother if Cheerios are healthy before jumping to a scene of her black father waking up from a nap to find a pile of the cereal on his chest (shown below). In the first two months, the video gained over 4.1 million views.
On the following day, Redditor hypertonica submitted the video to the /r/videos subreddit, where it accumulated more than 8,300 up votes and 1,400 comments in the next seven weeks. In the comments section, Redditors replied with a variety of reactions, some of which praised the brand for its bravery or accused the original poster of working for Cheerios marketing, while others made racist statements concerning interracial families. On May 29th, Twitter user @somecody tweeted to @Cheerios about racist comments on YouTube, to which @Cheerios responded that they had disabled the comments.
News Media Coverage
In the next several days, articles about the racist public reaction to the commercial were published on several news sites, including Gawker, The Huffington Post, The New York Times and Slate.
Parodies and Commentaries
On June 3rd, 2013, the CotillionGirlsComedy channel uploaded a parody in which a young white girl dumps Cheerios on her Ku Klux Klan mask-wearing father (shown below, left). On June 10th, YouTuber Kenji America uploaded another parody featuring a same-sex interracial couple (shown below, right). In the next six weeks, the videos garnered more than 1.25 million views and 3,600 comments.
On July 14th, TheFineBros YouTube channel uploaded a video featuring children reacting to the Cheerios commercial and commenting on the controversy surrounding the ad (shown below). Within four days, the video gained over 3.82 million views and 40,100 comments.
The New York Times – Vitriol Online for Cheerios Ad With Interracial Family
The Huffington Post – Cheerios Commercial Featuring Mixed Race Family Gets Racist Backlash
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