Kellogg's Slammed for Using a Monkey as the 'Brown' Coco Pops Mascot Amid Fight Against Racism | 22 Words

Kellogg's have come under fire this week after someone pointed out the racial undertones behind their Coco Pops mascot...

The Black Lives Matter movement is gaining traction like never before.

Since the shocking death of George Floyd last month, the movement has never before been so prominent.

Thousands upon thousands of people have been taking to the streets in protest...

And they are all marching for one thing: For the blatant racism and injustice in this country to be brought to an end.

Because, sadly, racism is still very much rife in our society today.

For centuries now, people of color have been hatefully discriminated against, and it needs to stop.

Admittedly, we have come a long way in the fight against this prejudice...

But that doesn't mean it isn't still happening.

We still have a long way to go for full equality across all races...

And it doesn't help that there are some huge, and incredibly influential companies among those spreading racist ideologies and values.

Racism has had a long history in the world of advertising and branding...

And industry giants such as Burger King, H&M, and American Apparel have all come under fire in the past for having racist undertones in their adverts.

Just last month, car manufacturer, Volkswagen, was criticized for a grossly racist advert.

The company launched an Instagram advert that showed a black man being picked up by a giant hand and being hurled away from the shiny new car. Obviously, people were less than impressed, and Volkswagen hastily removed the advert and issued an apology.

And now, Kellogs is the latest company to face the heat of the internet.

The veteran cereal brand has recently been accused of blatant racism in one of its most popular brands.

Who here loves Coco Pops?

The chocolatey cereal is perhaps the most popular out of all of Kelloggs' brands, and we all have fond memories of delicious childhood breakfasts as a result.

However, the brand is a little more problematic than we initially believed.

Amid the Black Lives Matter movement, Kelloggs has come under fire for their rather questionable branding for the Coco Pops logo.

Now, you will all be familiar with the infamous Coco Pops mascot...

A typical box of Coco Pops features large brown bubbled lettering alongside Coco The Monkey, who has brown fur and wears a cap and a white t-shirt.

However, some people are now finding Coco to be a little problematic.

It all started when British MP, Fiona Onasanya, publicly called out Kelloggs for their choice of mascot.

She pointed out that their other brand, Rice Krispies, which is essentially the same thing as Coco Pops just minus the chocolate, features 3 white boys as their mascots.

She then suggested that, by having a monkey as the mascot for a "brown" version of the cereal, is ultimately racist. For a little bit of context... Black people have been compared to primates as a racial insult for decades now.

Taking to Twitter, she wrote:

"@KelloggsUK, as you are yet to reply to my email - Coco Pops and Rice Krispies have the same compòsition (except for the fact CP's are brown and chocolate flavoured)... so I was wondering why Rice Krispies have three white boys representing the brand and Coco Pops have a monkey?"

However, people aren't too convinced by her claims.

Many people have criticized Fiona for her comments, and have pointed out that the monkey mascot is completely innocent, as the cocoa bean comes from the Amazon Basin... You know, where monkeys reside.

Other people pointed out how Coco the Monkey was still the mascot for the white chocolate version of the cereal...

So surely this isn't a deliberate racial attack?

Kelloggs have a long history of using animals as mascots...

And they often use animals that are native or relevant to the ingredients used in their cereals.

And now, Kellogg's has addressed the accusations.

A Kellogg's spokesperson told the MailOnline: "It's important that we are all talking more about how we can build racial equality. Kellogg stands in support of the black community."

They continued:

"The monkey mascot that appears on both white and milk chocolate Coco Pops, was created in the 1980s to highlight the playful personality of the brand. As part of our ambition to bring fun to the breakfast table, we have a range of characters that we show on our cereal boxes, including tigers, giraffes, crocodiles, elves and a narwhal."

They finished by stressing their stance on racism...

"We do not tolerate discrimination and believe that people of all races, genders, backgrounds, sexual orientation, religions, capabilities, and beliefs should be treated with the utmost dignity and respect." What do you think? Have Kellogg's been subconsciously racist? Or is this simply another case of something been taken too far?