For decades, Kellogg’s cereals have been a staple of many breakfast tables around the world.
Although other brands have more or less succeeded in mimicking the taste to a tee, the company’s incredible marketing campaigns have escalated them as industry leaders.
However, as the racial sensitivity goes up following the death of George Floyd, the iconic mascot of Coco Pops, Coco the Monkey, has been under fire as some call the mascot a disgraceful evidence of racism.
One of the leading voices in this rather bizarre crusade is former British politician Fiona Onasanya, who was removed from position in 2019 when she was caught lying to a police officer about a speeding ticket.
In a letter that has attracted much attention from the media, Onasanya complained to Kellogg that she found it uncomfortable that a monkey is used as a mascot for the brown cereal. She compared it with how three boys are used as the mascot for Rice Krispies.
The former MP tweeted how the only difference between the two products are the slight addition of chocolate favor and color of the product. She stretched this argument to say that she can’t overlook how Kellogg decided to use a monkey for a brown product while the white product used white boys.
Her tweet gained traction online, making Coco Pops one of the trending keywords on Twitter. Most of the reactions seemed to criticize Onasanya as someone who would get offended by literally anything. One user said since the monkey is called Coco, the cereal would just be ‘pops’ without the mascot.
Not giving up on her position, Onasanya tweeted that the movement still looks deliberate to her because the founder of Kelloggs – John Harvey Kellogg – had racist backgrounds.
Kelloggs quickly responded to her allegations, saying that the company was in full support of eradicating racism and discrimination of any kind.
The company explained that the character of Coco was created in the 1980s because it resembled the more playful nature of the cereal. It also added that all sorts of animals – from more common animals like the tiger to narwhals – are used as mascots for their cereals.
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