Cheerios commercial stirs up controversy over mixed-race families

This awesome commercial, titled “Just Checking,” for the popular cereal Cheerios, the first snack of choice for generations of families with kids, has hit a nerve with people who object to the multicultural family it depicts.

It shows an adorable mixed-race little girl asking her white mother if Cheerios is good for the heart. Mom answers that according to the box, it is indeed good for the heart. The girl smiles impishly, and runs off. The 30-second spot ends with dad — who is black — waking up on the couch and finding Cheerios poured all over his chest.

General Mills, makers of Cheerios, has had to turn off the comments on the YouTube page for this wonderful video because of the hateful comments that appeared, which the company said weren’t “family friendly.”

It’s too bad so many people are threatened by a mixed-race family, because it’s part of who we are as Americans. Asian Americans have increasingly high outmarriage rates, as explained in detail by C.N. Le of Asian-Nation. The term “Hapa” — originally a Hawai’ian term for “half” — is commonly-used now for mixed-race people, especially mixed-race Asians.

Today on Lawrence O’Donnell’s “The Last Word” program, O’Donnell took up time not only cheering for the Cheerios commercial, but also showing the entire ad, for free, as part of his editorial content. It was an awesome moment of television commentary in support of a corporation’s honest and accurate portrayal of a modern American family.

Kudos to General Mills, and to Lawrence O’Donnell.

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2 Responses to Cheerios commercial stirs up controversy over mixed-race families

  1. phil says:

    Gil: Have you read the book “Hapa Girl” by May-Lee Chai? I haven’t read the book, but I’ve read several reviews of it. Her father was a Chinese immigrant to the U.S., and her mother was a white Irish-American woman. She racounnts how when her family moved to rural South Dakota is the early 1980’s I believ, they suffered a great deal of prejudice, maltreatment and discrimination.

    As for the Cheerios ad, it’s preposterous that the portrayal of the mixed-race family should even be an issue. Someone said on youtube, “Why don’t they show a black mom with a white dad?” Well, that would be OK too. I don’t see why it should be an issue either way.

  2. Gil Asakawa says:

    Thanks for the comment, Phil/ I haven’t rad “Hapa Girl” yet but I’ll add it to my wish list!

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