Cheerios Brings Back Biracial Family for Super Bowl Ad

By Chris Hoenig

How has General Mills responded after a Cheerios commercial the company released last year brought racist hatred for featuring a biracial family It brought the family back for the biggest commercial stage of them all—and the family is growing bigger.

General Mills (No. 26 in the 2013 DiversityInc Top 50), the maker of Cheerios, put together the ad, titled “Gracie,” for the Super Bowl. In it, the father, a Black man, uses the breakfast cereal in helping tell his daughter that he and her mother, a white woman, are expecting a baby boy. The undeniably adorable Gracie, played by six-year-old Grace Colbert, sees the announcement as an opportunity for negotiations, quickly expanding the family even further.

“And … a puppy,” she says.

The original ad made headlines for the racist response to the interracial couple, and supporters went so far as to make a spoof ad featuring an interracial lesbian couple.

This new ad has not been immune to controversy, however. In sharing a new article about the commercial, MSNBC insinuated on Twitter that conservatives are responsible for the racist hatred from the first Cheerios ad.

The tweet was later deleted and replaced with an apology from the network.

A line in the article was also changed from “Forget the Seahawks and the Broncos: There may be an outcry from the right but most viewers are likely to declare this ad the Super Bowl winner” to “Forget the Seahawks and the Broncos: There may be another outcry, but most viewers are likely to declare this ad the Super Bowl winner.”

FOX jumped on the changes to the tweet and article, reporting that GOP operatives and representatives could boycott MSNBC over its handling of the Cheerios ad and other controversies. The threat was rescinded by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus after MSNBC President Phil Griffin personally apologized.

“We appreciate Mr. Griffin’s admission that their comment was demeaning and disgusting, and the Chairman accepted his apology,” RNC spokesman Sean Spicer said. “We will aggressively monitor the network to see whether their pattern of unacceptable behavior actually changes.”

The staffer responsible for the tweet was fired. “The tweet last night was outrageous and unacceptable,” Griffin said in a written statement. “We immediately acknowledged that it was offensive and wrong, apologized, and deleted it. We have dismissed the person responsible for the tweet.”

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