Kellogg’s has apologized after its design was branded racially insensitive.
The famous food brand was called out on Twitter by Hugo Awards-nominated author Saladin Ahmed, who noticed a concerning aspect of the Corn Pops cereal box design while having breakfast with his son.
“hey @KelloggsUS why is literally the only brown corn pop on the whole cereal box the janitor? this is teaching kids racism,” Ahmed, 42, tweeted on Tuesday morning.
Ahmed tweeted again, writing, “yes its a tiny thing, but when you see your kid staring at this over breakfast and realize millions of other kids are doing the same…”
The company responded a few hours later, tweeting at Ahmed, “Kellogg is committed to diversity & inclusion. We did not intend to offend – we apologize. The artwork is updated & will be in stores soon.”
Ahmed was appreciative, tweeting, “genuinely appreciate the rapid response.”
As well as featuring the only brown corn pop as a janitor, the rest of the artwork shows lighter Corn Pops shopping, skateboarding, playing in an arcade and splashing about in a fountain.
Kelloggs told USA TODAY in a statement that the company respects all people while being committed to diversity.
“We take feedback very seriously, and it was never our intention to offend anyone,” spokesman Kris Charles said. “We apologize sincerely.”
He said the design of the cereal boxes had been updated and will appear on store shelves soon.
Ahmed is the current writer of Marvel Comics’ Black Bolt series as well as the author of the 2012 fantasy novel Throne of the Crescent Moon, which was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel.