According to The London Economic, Kellogg’s has refuted claims that its Coco Pops mascot is based on racial stereotyping. This comes after former Member of Parliament Fiona Onasanya questioned the company’s decision to feature a monkey as the mascot.
Onasanya tweeted: "@KelloggsUK, as you are yet to reply to my email - Coco Pops and Rice Krispies have the same composition (except for the fact CP's are brown and chocolate flavored)... so I was wondering why Rice Krispies have three white boys representing the brand and Coco Pops have a monkey?"
She then highlighted John Harvey Kellogg’s role as the co-founder of Race Betterment Foundation, a group whose primary purpose of research was studying the cause and cure of "race degeneracy."
However, many disregarded Onasanya’s tweet, and some pointed out that the monkey was also featured on the white option of the cereal, while others highlighted that the "three white boys" are actually elves.
Kellogg's later issued a statement saying that it "stands in support of the black community."
"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," the statement read.
The company stated that the monkey was created as a mascot in the 1980s "to highlight the playful personality of the brand," and added that other Kellogg's cereal boxes have giraffes, crocodiles and tigers.
Onasanya’s comments come after other popular commercial brands announced their plans to change their logos. Quaker Foods promised to change their Aunt Jemima brand because the logo is based on harmful racial stereotypes.
Other companies have stated that they are planning to remove stereotypes from their logos and brands, including Mrs. Butterworth and Uncle Ben’s.