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May 31st, 2013
01:53 PM ET

Why is ad featuring multiracial family causing stir?

(CNN) - The leader of the free world is the child of one black parent and one white parent. The number of Americans who identify as "mixed race" is on the rise. And this year marks the 46th anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court decision, which made interracial marriage legal in the United States.

So why is a Cheerios ad featuring a multiracial family causing a stir?

The commercial features a curly-haired brown girl inquiring of her Caucasian mother and African-American father about Cheerios' healthy attributes.

"Mom, Dad told me that Cheerios was good for your heart. Is that true?" she asks in the commercial, titled "Just Checking."

Adweek reports that YouTube comments made "references to Nazis, 'troglodytes' and 'racial genocide' " before they were disabled.

As of Friday, most of the comments were supportive on the Cheerios Facebook page, like this one:

Cheerios,

I just saw your commercial representing a beautiful mixed family, and I am appalled that hateful people are in such a frenzy over what is a modern family structure. I applaud you and your efforts to acknowledge families with an untraditional structure, and there needs to be more mixed race, minority, adoptive & non-heteronormative families represented in media. Thank you again, and even though I do not eat cereal (my brother loves Cheerios BTW) you can be sure that whatever future child I am blessed with, may probably be mixed heritage, and will be enjoying your product.

But earlier in the week, comments were not as thoughtful. The Huffington Post reported on the vile nature of some responses, like this one:

More like single parent in the making. Black dad will dip out soon.

Reddit featured a link to the commercial on its homepage Thursday, also drawing a range of responses.

Granted, the comments section of the Internet is rarely a reliable space for reflective or thoughtful discourse on race in America.

But the range of reactions to an ad that incidentally highlights a multiracial family might be the start of a discussion on how the American family is seen and portrayed.

What do you think: Is the commercial long overdue or much ado about nothing?


Filed under: How we look • Race • Where we live
soundoff (1,498 Responses)
  1. reuben

    An impressive share, I just considering this onto a colleague who had previously been doing a small analysis about this. And he in fact bought us breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So i want to reword that will: Thnx for the take care of! But yes Thnkx for investing the time to go over this, I am strongly over it and enjoy reading more about this matter. If possible, as you become expertise, can you mind modernizing your blog with more details? It can be highly helpful for me. Massive thumb upwards for this post!
    reuben http://www.go2album.com/pg/groups/1777196/4-questions-to-ask-concerning-dialysis/

    August 16, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ann roberts

    I PLAN TO CONTINUE EATING CHEERIOS AND I HAD SOME THIS AM THE MEDIA MADE MORE OUT OF THIS THEN IT WORTH . I ALSO HAVE BEEN EATING CHEERIOS SINCE I WAS A KID .

    August 12, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ann roberts

    I agree with this comment from the person I do not know Steve Cameron that not the only combination show others i am sick of this particular and one use your imagination on the next one. You lost loyal old customers what about those demographics.. ..

    August 12, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Grendel Howard

    I thought the commercial was advertising genius! Blacks saw a Black man; White folks saw a white woman; Latinos saw a Latino woman and child. Thus, many folks saw what they wanted to see! In America many racial combinations exist! Color of the skin is not always an indication of race. That pleases me! Because it is proof that the color of skin should be the last thing considered, if at all.

    August 11, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Amber

    When I first saw the commercial I thought, cool! I don't understand the problem. I have a big family, and one of my cousins is married to a black man. So their daughter is mixed race. And my sister and BIL who are both white, just adopted a little black girl out of foster care. I just don't see the problem with the commercial. It's sad to me that some people have a problem.

    July 20, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nanson Hwa

      You are more aware than most of the ignorant people that like to make a mountain out of mole hill in regards to mixed race families in doing a commercial..

      July 20, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Vivian

    It is absolutely ridiculous that people sit there and have so much time to complain about a Cheerios commercial. Who cares what color the mom or dad are, they are people and that is all that matters. It is sad to know there is still so many ignorant people out in this world. I have a mixed family myself, and I tell my kids all the time that it is not important what color your skin is. Racism is disgusting, there is good and bad people in all races so just get over it already!

    July 19, 2013 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  7. carpebootium

    CNN, I can appreciate that you often have thought provoking, consciousness expanding articles about life and it's various cultural nuances. This article is anything but. It's blatant race baiting and it's counter-productive to race relations...but I'm sure it's positive to your site traffic to let agitated white people have a flame war with defenders of interracial dating/marriage. Step your game up, this is just sad.

    July 18, 2013 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dude

    "The leader of the free world is the child of one black parent and one white parent."

    You didn't get the memo that the leaders of the majority of the free world are unhappy with the mixed race individual you purport to be the leader of all of them.

    July 17, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. letmeeatcake

    i have loved cheerios since i was a kid, and i would continue to eat it even if they had a mixed muslim/atheist family arguing in the commercial.

    July 14, 2013 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  10. BAB

    I loved the commercial and always chuckle at the end with the father covered in cheerios ... the commercial is about a child her mother and father, end of story ... who cares about what color the skin is, I get so tired of it
    I think there are many more important things to care about ... think about, please do that instead

    July 13, 2013 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Common Sense

    062014...there's no such word as "racism or racist" they're modern inventions by Marxist in the 1920's aka Trotsky as a derogertory term for whites that wouldn't go along with marxist dogma

    July 13, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nina

      Wow. Try taking Sociology 101 before making such an erroneous comment. I'm always puzzled when encountering ignorance and hatred–who taught you how to be so hateful? Further, a good solid education in the social sciences might help you to understand what is really going on.

      July 22, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. 062014

    Supreme Court should sit up and take notice. There is still a whole lot of racism in this country. There is indeed enough, as shown by the outcry over this commercial, to create a racist environment for "minorities"; which indeed puts them in a position of fewer opportunities.

    July 12, 2013 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • LeeAnn

      I am multiracial and let me tell you it is the Hispanic side and not the Caucasian one that has a problem with it. Really Hispanic women have a tendency to glare at me when I am out with my own Father. I really wish they would get over it. Maybe they think I am a gold digger, but frankly I don't care. Quit glaring!

      July 12, 2013 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • steve cameron

      The "Supreme Court"? The Supreme Court only gets involved after other courts have decided a case. The Supreme Court has already ruled on equal opportunities for "minorities". The Supreme Court does not initiate legislation. If racism exists, it is in the minds of individuals. The Supreme Court cannot do anything about that. We already have the Civil Rights Act and a ton of other legislation that makes everyone equal before the law. So now you want the Supreme Court to engage in mind control? Sorry.

      July 13, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Cory

    I'm a black woman and this commercial didn't offend me. It was quite cute. I don't know about whites but I know a few blacks who were irritated by this commercial (mostly sistas). I know why, nonetheless it's a ridiculous reason

    July 11, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • ann roberts

      I know a lot of whites who did not like this commercial because they thought the black guy was ugly and I THOUGHT THE WHITE WOMAN WAS UGLY BUT EVERY BODY AGREE THAT THE CHILD WAS AWESOME .... .

      August 12, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Nanson Hwa

    "Distance tests the endurance of a horse; time reveals a man's character." Chinese proverb 360 BC

    Not skin color.

    July 11, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Deb

    I actually saw the ad several times before I realized it was a multiracial. It just seems so ... normal.

    July 11, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Tommy B

    I LOVE this commercial. I think it’s the cutest commercial ever! I would like to see more commercials like this one.

    July 9, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • ann roberts

      Are you in a interracial relationship ?

      August 12, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robert

        you dont need to be in one to enjoy how good the ad is and im a white guy guy with a white wife and i support multiculturalism!!

        August 16, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  17. teampati

    The ad is fine, as is the spoof that followed it, in which a single-gender couple were the subjects of the ad... What is not wise is that as long as call attention to visual differences, we support racism. I guarantee you, if there were an autopsy of both adults, and a non-medical professional saw the two bodies side to side, no one would say, Oh, yeah, that's the caucasian, or that's the (non-caucasian). I find the term "African American" somewhat ridiculous. What happens when a person lives in Europe? or Canada?

    July 8, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  18. coffehead

    We have so many other things to worry about than the color of someones skin

    July 4, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Stan

    I just can't believe that this snippit of a commercial has caused such a ruckus. I haven't seen or heard anyone chiming in on the insurance commercial involving an asian man, black woman and baby. Why if one is so offencive, isn't they other containing a mixed race family??? Need I say it or could it boil down to black and white? For a race of people who profess to be the dominant species on this planet, some of us haven't broken out of the stone age yet.

    What was that saying......Stupid is as Stupid does.

    July 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve cameron

      You mean dominant race. We are all one species.

      July 3, 2013 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
      • david

        There is a majority culture – not a dominant race; sorry.

        July 12, 2013 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Merrily Snider

      Stan the Man. Thank you for your viewpoint. I am afraid to tell people I'm white because they will think I am a bigot too! But, I'm not a christian so that is highly unlikely IMHO.

      July 8, 2013 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
      • Stop being afraid

        Merrily,

        Please be proud of who you are. It's OK! And it's OK not to be cxstn. I am Hispanic and ask you not to be scared to tell who you are. I am in a mixed relationship with a white and we live a extremely happy raisin two wonderful boys (little busy).

        July 12, 2013 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  20. Mikaela

    I am sad to see that our society still struggles with racism.

    July 1, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  21. rtracy

    All i can say is that there is not one person on this entire earth that can say that they are 100%pure no matter what the race is. Shame on you for thinking so negative on the children. I have quite a few mixed children in my family and friends who have mixed children. now why would i treat them any different? and further more i do not treat the parents any different. Maybe that is not my choice who am i to judge them on their choice. Why would i want to abandon or turn my back on family because of color?When my kids were old enough to ask why people were different colors i told them that God wanted his people to be all colors to make the world a more beautiful place. we will all be judged in the end and do not deserve to be judge now. only loved no matter what race we are.I am only of the human race my color makes no difference.

    July 1, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Lois

    I didn't notice the color of their skin until someone mentioned it. I just thought how cute the little girl was and what a sweet sentiment the writer of the commercial conveyed.

    June 27, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • superbole

      That's the way it was supposed to be. Nothing more. Nothing less.

      July 2, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Laurence

    "The leader of the free world is the child of one black parent and one white parent." Really? Then why do so many people in the USA, and around the world, think have voted in their very first black president?

    June 27, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Laurence

    "The leader of the free world is the child of one black parent and one white parent" REALLY? In that case, why the hell do so many people think the USA have elected their first black president? And crazy as it is, many voted on the pigmentation of his skin, and not his politics.

    June 27, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Maya

    We live in a society were the first thing most see is skin color. It's time to get over that. I believe this commercial is fantastic, showing a mixed family, we need to see more of that on television. We are all mixed if you really think about it. Ignorant people need to get a reality check.

    June 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Nanson Hwa

    Some of the postings on this thread verifies the fact that the Neanderthals are not extinct.

    June 27, 2013 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  27. jerry h

    It would be more acceptable to me if TV would show more couple diversity. The highest percentage of mixed on programs and commercials is black men and white women. For instance a commercial with twin black athletes who in the end are holding 2 blond cheerleaders. Why couldn't one of the girls be of another ethnicity? Probably would be a little less outrage if the media would show more reality of what blends are out there rather than shoving only the BM/WF down our throats.

    June 26, 2013 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Nanson Hwa

      Ask a blind man and see what he says.

      June 26, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ernest

      I don't understand what that as to do with anything

      June 26, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • CC

      LOL... you do not know what you are talking about...

      June 27, 2013 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  28. Chris

    Surprising this has caused such a stir. Has it really, though? My kids didn't even blink. I thought it was cute. Nobody I know is "talking" about this. It seems the media made it a story, opening it up to trolls, when there wasn't a story to begin with. The story should rather be the GMO, pesticide laced grains used by Cheerios. Cute commercial or not, this brand is never going to end up on my kitchen table. I don't need their box to tell me about healthy choices.

    June 26, 2013 at 3:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon Macias

      I saw this commercial and thought it was cute, not because of the mixed races but by the message. I hadn't realized that it was a mixed race couple until just now. I applaud Cheerios for being in in tune with progress and recognizing the importance of acknowledging diversity.

      June 27, 2013 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
      • steve cameron

        People keep making this same comment over and over and over. "I didn't even notice", you would be great on the witness stand for a criminal case. Congratulations, you are not a racist! Do you feel better now? This is the media! We are not talking about real people here. The people in the ad are actors. They are not really married. That is not their child. Cheerios is attacking the stereotype of one race couples in the hopes of reaching out to a certain demographic. But they are supporting the stereotype of mixed race couples being a black man and a white women. There are a lot of other combinations by the way.

        June 27, 2013 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
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