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:


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 (1,338 Responses)
  1. Mikaela

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

    July 1, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. 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 |
  3. 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 |
  4. 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 |
  5. 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 |
  6. 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 |
  7. 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 |
  8. steve cameron

    I am going to sue the Italian government because the Roman legions raped and enslaved my ancestors. You are part of the problem, not the solution. New Black Panther are you?

    June 24, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Linda

    Mixed race aside, the commercial doesn't indicate whether the couple is even married. Anyone objecting to that? Or are we just assuming? You say it doesn't matter? Then what does it matter that they are different races?

    June 22, 2013 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  10. andyv2k14

    Who cares? The couple is mixed race, who cares either way? But also, I'm sure that some of the people were joking. Sometimes racism is good for humor. If you're too thin skinned to take some stuff as humor, too bad for you, it's gonna be hard getting through life being that thin skinned.

    June 19, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. NormanDee

    We have a bi-racial President, a country that has made the newest and bi-racial Kardasian an obsession and people have a problem with a bi-racial product ad?! Crazy....

    June 17, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Erin

    Why do we care so much about this? Why can't a commercial just be representative of the reality of some people's lives- in this case it happens to be an interracial family, and why can't people be ok with that?. In this day in age do we really need to over – analyze it. When I was young I did not see many minorities that looked like it could be me in ads or magazines, my biracial daughter is seeing something different- progress. With that said I believe there is more than a single motivation behind this . The only color most corporations are interested in is green,and having a greater appeal to a wider customer base, assures this.

    June 16, 2013 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Summer819

      Could not agree more. I don't have mixed race children, but I don't see the big deal. This is the norm for a lot of families these days, so why can't it be seen in everyday commercials?

      And I still happen to think an interracial couple having babies make some of the most beautiful kids out there!

      June 17, 2013 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  13. Another

    Funny that people who are in favour support this bad, but the product of the odd looking union is less not more diverse.

    June 15, 2013 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
  14. Diane

    Way to go Cheerio's!! Being white and married to a black man (gasp!) for 23 years, I think this commercial is great and long overdue. Have 2 daughters and can thankfully say we have never had a major problem with anyone having trouble with our relationship. My kids are very well adjusted and I am hoping that their generation is much more open to these things and don't think twice about it, while my generation 40+, still has lingering issues. There will always be the families that continue to shove it down their kids throat that this is wrong, but I am convinced that racism will become a distant memory in time. Society is becoming blended more and more. Like it or not.

    June 14, 2013 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Katherine

      Hi Diane,
      I liked your comments.

      I saw the ad last night. I have to admit I didn't give it but a moments thought - except "how is Dad going to deal with the cleanup of all those little Cheerios?"

      I'm Irish, in my 60s, have grown children and am from a very large multi-national, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and religiously diverse family (from Agnostics to Quakers and beyond). I don't see what the problem is with the depiction of a pretty typical American family . This is life. We need to embrace differences celebrate diversity and move on.

      June 14, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. artstnmtn1

    Karen, nice try. years ago during the integration of schools in the south some whites claimed their issue was with bussing and not integration. however, the signs I saw didn't say," buses go home", they read, "n-word" go home". you see, even back then people were using excuses to be racist.

    June 13, 2013 at 3:18 am | Report abuse |
  16. Albert Wesker

    It matters not what the color of your skin is. I have tested people of all races with my viral supplements and when the facts boil down, failure and inadequacy are not racially determined. It is a personal issue. Black, white, Hispanic or asian, you are all inferior to me. So enjoy your irrelevant qualms while you have the time. Soon, Uroburos will be released and a new age of humanity will be birthed ensuring Complete Global Saturation.

    June 12, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      Unless of course Chris Redfield shows up

      June 20, 2013 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  17. Andrew

    Great ad!! Cheerios did a good thing but it should have come sooner and I would hope to see more like it. And, by the way, I am a white man in a loving relationship with a black woman and we could not be happier and nearly everyone we meet fully accepts us. Maybe they wouldn't if they knew that I am actually not 100% white, in fact my DNA says that I am 3% Neanderthal!!!

    June 12, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Jason B

    I don't get the problem. Commercials promoting mixed race? Nothing wrong with them, this sounds like an argument we would've been having in the late 1960's and early 1970's. If you can have a Geico commercial with women dating Maxwell the Pig, there's certainly nothing wrong here.

    Now, when they start having commercials pushing the same s e x couple agenda, then I'll have a problem. But mixed race? No

    June 12, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  19. steven cameron

    Just to clarify, my reply was to Cheryl, not Jennifer. I don't know why it wound up where it did. As far as Cheryl absurd remark goes. We have come along ways since 19th century Victorian ladies of "breeding" used to faint if someone said the word "damn" in their presence.

    June 12, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  20. AK

    And now is your chance to raise your child right—to appreciate the differences in people (from shades to religion to cultural).

    Maybe then your child will never make the same ignorant comment (i.e. the way that you did).

    June 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Brian, Detroit, MI

    Maybe you should start by explaining how the world works, not your backward christian ideas about how the world should work.

    June 12, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Jennifer

    Why would you have to monitor a commercial with a mixed race family from your child? I believe it is easy to explain to your children if they so happen to ask a question about mixed race families. If you think you have to monitor this commercial from your child, I believe your introducing your child into thinking that mixed couples, families are wrong for being together.

    June 12, 2013 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • steven cameron

      I believe your comment is seeded to cause violent reaction in this thread. It is rediculous and obnoxious. If you have a five year old (which I doubt), they are either in 1st grade or soon will be. They will hear more from their peers in the school room and playground than you could ever imagine. You can't shield a child from life.

      June 12, 2013 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  23. YAYA

    So what race would I fall under?(Steve) I am more then just biracial. My father is mixed with white/ african/native american/french and german. My mother is mixed with white/african and indian. There are plenty of biracial families in the world. If we all go back and look at your family trees. We are all mixed with something. So just get over it. And move on cause the world is going to turn with or with your approvals!!!

    June 11, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • dannyzihua

      Very true YAYA I am a HolMexCan (Holland, Mexican, born in Canada) I never saw so much truble Because of mix race as I hear of it now. Growing up in Montreal that is all we saw is mix Family's so we kids never fely out of place. Sad world we live in.

      June 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  24. steven cameron

    Are they really stating that the country has been taken over by inner city uneducated poor minorities? I think that is an exaggeration. I think they are either racists, or people concerned about Cherrios endorsing mixed-race couples as a good thing.

    June 11, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • TonyaW

      Well said Steven...I love that my kids will see themselves in this ad!

      June 11, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Marcus Hill

    I thought the whole thing was pretty cute. Was I upset by the biracial couple, no. I got over that crap a long time ago.

    June 11, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Travis

    I don't understand why everyone makes race such a big deal. You all talk like they did a good deed or charity work just because they are with someone else of a different color.... "Oh this is so cute because the girl is black and the mom is white" blah blah blah.... jesus... It's all of you idiots that continue to make racism what it is today. Get over it.

    June 11, 2013 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe peterson

      I am in a biracial marriage.She is Jamaican. I am a British/Irish mutt. People have their opinions and are welcome to them. I am not into building Utopias, but do believe in letting others live their lives in peace.

      June 11, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • artstnmtn1

      congratulation, travis, for pointing out how these racial problems could be solved if we just looked the other way.......not

      June 13, 2013 at 3:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Roger

      I live in England and over here, many of our adverts/commercials have a white and black couple with their biracial kids, and even our Olympics opening ceremony televised to all the world showed a family listening to music and what did the family look like? a white woman, her black husband and biracial kids. I really don't get what the fuss is about in the USA – adverts depict real life and I know a good number of mixed black and white marriages in the USA as well as in the UK. The fact that people disagree with the concept has not and wont stop it from being a reality.

      June 13, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • Murica

        I live in England. Im American and let me tell you YOU guys have a race problem too. Don't think you are special or more advanced then us. Yes on the telly (tv) you have chubby women and interracial couples blah blah....I seen though in regular village life the hate that is spewed but of course hidden just like America. So don't pretend it still doesn't exist in your little country

        June 14, 2013 at 4:04 am | Report abuse |
  27. Farrok

    Men and women see race and color; nature never does..............

    June 11, 2013 at 5:03 am | Report abuse |
    • ScotsHeart

      Neither do children until they are taught

      June 11, 2013 at 6:52 am | Report abuse |
  28. asuhd

    What is wrong with these people. Have they never heard of bi-racial families?
    I guess it's understandable to be a little thrown off in the beginning since you rarely see that in commercials but shouldn't it just end there? And in all honestly, I don't think black, asian, or latino people have a problem with this. It's mostly just white people. I always see white people try really hard not to offend minorities but it's kind of seems to be built in the core of their brains that America is their land and they shouldn't breed with any other races to keep their genes clean or something. They don't say it but it always seems implied and they act on it.
    Of course it's not all white people. But there are quite a lot.

    June 11, 2013 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Daniel Horn

      sad to say asuhd, 11B30_inf mankind does not remember what the Nazi's did, or Yuglosavia, or Turky, or any other country that thinks they are better then others, we look for life in outer space what good can that bring when we cannot get along in our Earth.

      June 11, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Another

      You need to read what some black women think sometimes before you say only white people have a problem with this

      June 15, 2013 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
  29. archedemos

    The race tollerant people are being fooled. In a pair the white one is most usually the woman as the Media portrais it over and over again. Please note that the combination of black woman and white man is brushed aside. The black woman is being ignored. Is that O.K. with you or have you just been fooled.

    June 9, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miz

      Black women are far from invisible nowadays. Scandal is one of the most popular shows on TV right now and Kerry Washington has been bringing it since episode one. And interracial relationships that skew BW/WM aren't anything new. The Jeffersons were doing it way back when!

      And then you have the more visible interracial couples like David Bowie & Iman, Paula Patton & Robin Thicke, Rutina Wesley & James Fishel, and, while she isn't the best example, look at Halle Berry's romantic history.

      But still. You spit at tolerance because it's not projecting an image you think it's appropriate. You are no different than those who are upset that this ad features a white woman and black man because you feel the exact same way, just with the races reversed. That's pretty shameful.

      June 10, 2013 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
      • t

        You cant include Hallli Barry. She is also a mixed race woman.

        June 10, 2013 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
      • artstnmtn1

        it does seem the black woman kind of gets left out. even after the coming out of nba player Jason Collins, it was revealed that even gay black man preferred a white woman.

        June 13, 2013 at 3:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      Are you making an intelligent point? Or any point at all? Since I'm "race tolerant" I thought you might be making an offensive remark, but in the end you make no sense at all.

      June 10, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • archedemos

      The point is that bi-racial pairs always have the white person as a woman. And thats discrimination against blacks as well as latinos and orientals. Look for it . Its there , over and over again.

      June 11, 2013 at 6:31 am | Report abuse |
      • Heather

        Ick! Asians, not Orientals.....

        June 11, 2013 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
      • Chistine

        Oriental is ok for food or a rug, it describes and object.... not a person. People are Asian, not oriental.

        June 11, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • TonyaW

        Thank you Heather...Oriental is a flavor of Top Ramen, not a person.

        June 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • chandra_17

        The idea that the woman is always white in a biracial marriage is completely incorrect. My mom is Indian (from India) and my dad is white (british/swedish). And I'm half and half.

        June 12, 2013 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • artstnmtn1

        archedemos: that's not a mandate but by choice.

        June 13, 2013 at 3:42 am | Report abuse |
      • Roger

        I completely agree with archedemos. 99% of the mixed marriages I know of [i.e. personally] are a white man/black woman pair but you will never know this from the media. By the way, living in the UK, we [ie everyone I know] call people from the Orient/South east asia 'oriental' and people from south asia/India we call 'asian'. When did this rule change?

        June 13, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Linda

    What I see is a little girl of a biracial family, WHICH IS NOTHING MORE THAN THE NORM IN THIS COUNTRY, being concerned for her daddy. I wish more families of ALL races would be more concerned for their families health. GET OVER THE FACT THAT THIS FAMILY IS BIRACIAL! I wonder if the people who are complaining about the biracial actually have a life besides complaining about anything and everything. ?!

    June 9, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  31. 1965biracial

    I was shocked when I 1st saw the ad not because I disapproved but because a sponsor would be so brave. WAY TO GO Cheerios! I will put my $ where my mouth is-Cheerios will be the cereal of choice in my home.
    I was born to Irish-American (dad) & African-American (mom) in 1965 prior to this being legal in Virginia. I is absolutely ridiculous that after 47 years this remains a topic in America. I hope other sponsors follow suit & begin creating similar ads-hopefully to wake the sleeping American who apparently lost in time.

    June 9, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  32. 1965biracial

    I was shocked by the ad not because I disapprove but that a sponsor would be so brave. WAY TO GO Cheerios! Just an FYI that will be the only cereal in my house from now on....in support of their willingness to move forward. I will put my $ where my mouth is–hopefully other will follow.
    I am irish (dad) and african-american (mom) born in 1965 prior to Virginia making my parents marriage legal. It is sad that after 47 years old my existence is still an issue for America. We need more ad's like this to get those behind the times caught up with 2013 real life.

    June 9, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Emily

    I am also appalled at the number of bigots out there. It is complete idiocy to be bigoted against someone because of their skin color. It's the 21st century. Can't we end racism, already?

    June 9, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Another

      Its obviously more than skin colour or we woul have discrimination based on eye colour and hair colour. Its clearly got much more to do with experience of a group of people and how they behave!

      June 15, 2013 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  34. Jess

    Good for you Cheerios now how about getting rid of Sugar and GMO corn so these beautiful children can grow up

    June 9, 2013 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      $5 says you don't even know what GMO means or how it's done.

      June 10, 2013 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  35. Maui420L

    Maybe we can finally wipe out bigoted hate in this country... we should adopt a non-discrimination law in this country to make it illegal to discriminate, in all forms...
    This is just a continuing story of bigoted ignorance in the Land of the Free, first the indigenous people, then blacks, Chinese, Irish, Italians, Dutch, Amish... we have a long history of trying to destroy what we don't understand, rather than accept natural differences in human culture...
    The end of the angry white ugly American has come....

    June 9, 2013 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  36. blueberry

    Absolutely love the new Cheerios commercial! A beautiful family!

    June 9, 2013 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Jass4u

      I just want to say thank you for not saying anything negative about the Cheerios commercial. Many people do not understand that we have moved on to a different day and age.

      June 26, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  37. honey badger

    Great commercial! When I initially saw the little girl and her mother, the first thing I thought was how cute she was and that she was probably adopted. Then I saw the dad, and said to myself, "Oh, a biracial family! Good for you, Cheerios, but I know there will be haters."

    Let's not miss the underlying message of the commercial – families come in all colors and variations, This particular one happened to be biracial. Most importantly, the parents were obviously teaching their child about love, compassion, and empathy. Being "heart healthy" was the selling point for the cereal.

    Those who are upset with the complexion of the family, need to check for a pulse.

    June 9, 2013 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
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