The new Cheerios ad featuring an interracial couple and their daughter inspired an outpouring of comments online, ranging from the strongly supportive to racist mudslinging.
While positive comments vastly outnumbered the negative nearly 10-to-1, the cereal company decided to shut down the comments section of its YouTube posting due to the ferocity of some of Internet haters.
"The comments that were made were, in our view, not family friendly. And that was really the trigger for us to pull them off. Ultimately we were trying to portray an American family, and there are lots of multicultural families in America today,” said Camille Gibson, the Cheerios Vice President for Marketing.
Lynne Collins, a spokeswoman for the New York advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi which produced the commercial said, "It is important for us to make sure the work reflects the people we're trying to sell products to."
msnbc’s Lawrence O’Donnell discussed the topic in his Rewrite segment on Monday, describing the uglier comments as “the kind of racism you had every right to expect would be extinct in a country with a biracial president.”
During the segment, the Last Word host ate a mouthful of Cheerios and re-aired the commercial in support of the ad.