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On June 25th, 2012, a picture of an Oreo cookie with six layers of frosting in the colors of the rainbow flag was posted on Kraft Nabisco’s Facebook page. The image was accompanied by the captions “June 25 | Pride” and “Proudly support love!” in recognition of LGBT Pride Month in the United States. The Facebook image post was instantly met by polarized opinions between supporters and critics of gay marriage, quickly escalating into a lengthy debate of more than 23,000 comments in the first 24 hours. As of December 11th, 2012, the Facebook post has accumulated more than 297,700 likes, 90,700 shares and 60,400 comments.
The American cookie company’s display of solidarity with the gay and lesbian community was mostly met by positive feedback on Facebook, but the image of the six-layered rainbow Oreo cookie was far from being impervious to criticisms and denouncements; many commenters openly expressed their abandonment of brand loyalty to Nabisco and its Oreo products, while others threatened to unlike the Oreo page and boycott the cookies altogethers. One commenter went as far as to launch a boycott campaign against Nabisco on Facebook, which gained 12 likes in the first day of launch. As of December 2012, the boycott page has 116 likes.
A separate boycott attempt was organized by the American Family Association organization One Million Moms, but it is unclear how many people participated in their efforts. Nabisco’s controversial status update and the consequential debate over the issue of same-sex couples were soon covered by several major news outlets and internet news blogs, from Reuters, ABC News, The Guardian and Los Angeles Times to Daily Kos, Gawker and San Francisco Weekly.
On June 26th, 2012, Redditor KGlitz posted a comment from the Oreo Facebook post criticizing the bigoted remarks, which challenged the commenters to boycott all companies who supported gay rights including Google and Apple (shown below). The post reached the front page of the /r/atheism subreddit, accumulating more than 13,900 up votes and 850 comments within 24 hours.
The same day, BuzzFeed staff member Matt Stopera submitted a post titled “How Could Anyone Boycott a Cookie?”, which compiled several screenshots of Facebook comments criticizing the Oreo post. Also on June 26th, Redditor gutter_is_a_tool submitted a post to the /r/atheism subreddit titled “Saw this while browsing Oreos on Facebook”, which included a Facebook screenshot (shown below) of a woman being insulted for declaring she would no longer buy Oreos. Within 24 hours, the post received over 12,300 up votes and 1,160 comments.
On June 27th, a petition was created on the website Change.org for the rainbow Oreo to be produced and sold by Kraft. The same day, the Cheezburger site Memebase published a post titled “Double Agenda is the Double-Stuff of Dreams”, which included a Conspiracy Keanu image macro with the caption “What if Oreo supporting gay rights / Is their way of fighting obesity in the southern states?” (shown below).
Several YouTubers chimed in on the controversy with many criticizing the boycott for being bigoted and irrational.
Los Angeles Times – Gay Pride rainbow Oreo sparks 20,000 Facebook comments, debate
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