A Cheerios commercial showing an interracial family has been littered with racist backlash online, forcing the company to shut down the comments section of its YouTube page. The ad shoes a bi-racial child talking to her mom whose White, and cuts to a shot of her Black father lying asleep on the couch.
The video earned more than 300,000 views, thousands of "thumbs up" on the site, but also lots of racism.
You'd think this new Cheerios ad from Saatchi & Saatchi in New York might go largely unnoticed, given the plethora of interracial couples on TV shows these days. (NBC's Parenthood is a notable example, though far from the only one.) But it's not going unnoticed—it hit Reddit's front page, a place largely reserved for life's great oddities, and the YouTube view count is rising fast. The problem is that TV ads have always lagged TV programming in this regard, as so many brands are clearly scared of being perceived as making a political statement with the casting of their commercials. Thus, the Cheerios ad, despite its characters being representative of tens of thousands of actual couples in America, sticks out like a sore thumb. And then you have the YouTube comments section, which predictably has devolved into an endless flame war, with references to Nazis, "troglodytes" and "racial genocide." At what point will an ad like this just seem normal?
Facebook also got a bunch of racial hatred. The commercial apparently made some people "want to vomit," and there were (of course) shots thrown at the Black father. "More like single parent in the making. Black dad will dip out soon."
Check out the commercial below.