A new Cheerios commercial is making headlines for garnering a slew of racist remarks in the comment section on the ad’s YouTube page. The remarks are in large part a response to the biracial family that is featured in the commercial.
In the 30-second ad, which promotes General Mills’ Cheerios brand, a biracial female child asks her white mother if Cheerios are good for your heart. She is then seen dumping a batch on her black father’s chest as if to playfully help his heart while he is sleeping on the couch.
The commercial has apparently prompted many viewers to post negative and hateful comments and as a result, General Mills disabled the comment section on the commercial's YouTube page.
“The comments that were made in our view were not family-friendly, and that was really the trigger for us, you know, to pull them off,’’ General Mills Vice President for Marketing Camille Gibson said Monday on TODAY.
General Mills is standing by the spot and has no plans to stop airing it or to take it down from its YouTube channel. "There are many kinds of families, and Cheerios celebrates them all," Gibson said. Despite some serious, negative response online, "it's been a very positive response overall," she added.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent report indicates that the number of people reporting that they are of two or more races reached 9 million during the 2010 U.S. census, a 32 percent increase from 2000 to 2010. Additionally, there were 16 states with 200,000 or more people reporting as more than one race, including half a million or more in California, Texas and New York.
"I think this commercial is a really big step for interracial families,’’ biracial law school graduate Meagan Hatcher-Mays said Monday on TODAY. “The commercial represents that we exist."