Cheerios Commercial Prompts Backlash Over Interracial Family
Cheerios' new commercial "Just Checking" has nothing to do with racial issues. At least, not any more than any other commercial that happens to feature people of any ethnicity. But it does happen to feature a interracial family and that has reportedly prompted enough negative reactions from YouTubers to cause the heart-healthy cereal brand to disabled the comments feature on the YouTube page.
The ad has a little girl asking her mother about Cheerios being healthy for the heart. The girl is bi-racial, and her mother is caucasian. Upon Mom confirming that the cereal's good for the heart, the little girl runs off with the box. Next, we see dad asleep on the couch, then waking up to find a pile of Cheerios on him, over his heart. It's an adorable ad, demonstrating a girl's love for her father - enough to pour Cheerios on his chest because she believes it will keep him healthy. Dad, incidentally, happens to be black.
Some YouTube viewers have an issue with the races of the characters in this commercial, and they were vocal about it in the comments, as semi-anonymous internet posters tend to be when they have a strong opinion. Via Time, the ad's getting even more attention since trending on Reddit. Time says Cheerios shut down the comments on the ad after getting hateful responses. Time goes on to note that commenters migrated over to another ad and spilled their hatred into that thread. Comments on that one are disabled now too.
It's hard to comment directly on the reported negative comments, since Cheerios seems to be hitting the mute button on feedback right now. And it probably should be taken into account that negative feedback isn't exactly a rarity in YouTube's comment section. Still, it's disheartening to hear that people would make a fuss over a commercial like this in 2013.