It was meant to tug at the heart strings, but instead a new commercial for Cheerios has sparked a major debate about race in America.
The ad shows a biracial little girl attempting to take care of her dad’s heart health with Cheerios. The family shown has a white mother and a black father.
Viewers responded with racist and angry remarks about the family once the commercial hit the web. Many of the comments were so overtly racist that the maker of Cheerios disabled all the YouTube comments.
“The comments that were made in our view were not family-friendly and that was really the trigger for us to pull them off,” said General Mills Vice President Camille Gibson.
General Mills is standing by the ad saying “there are all kinds of families in America and Cheerios celebrates them all.”
“It’s not the first interracial ad,” said Eric Yaverbaum co- founder of OfElevenMedia.com said on Jansing & Co Monday. ”Ikea did one 15 years ago. Look at us—we’re talking about Cheerios. Cheerios will benefit from this.”
Alexis Stodghill, a lifestyle editor with TheGrio.com agreed.
“We’re seeing an outpouring of people who are so vociferous about how strongly they feel that Cheerios is doing the right thing,” Stodghill said to Chris Jansing. “People have spoken out so strongly. They are actually going to rush out and buy more Cheerios to show how much they support the fact that they decided to use an interracial couple.”