General Mills under fire for lack of gender parity on cereal boxes

General Mills under fire for lack of gender parity on cereal boxes

Atlantic Canada — Canadians know General Mills as a food producer specializing in fun, tasty breakfast cereals for kids and adults alike. The fun may have ended, though, as an outspoken group of Maritimers is accusing the company of excluding women and anyone else who doesn’t identify as male.

“They have a line of ‘monster cereals,’ and all of the monsters are male,” explained Shelly Irvine of Cape Enrage, N.B. “There’s Count Chocula, Franken Berry, Boo Berry — even the discontinued Fruit Brute — all of these mascots are men…or at least I’m fairly certain they are.

“Then there’s the Trix rabbit; Trix may be for kids, but they’re apparently not for women or non-binary folks. How about Buzz the Bee on the Honey Nut Cheerios box? The Nesquik rabbit? And that leprechaun on the Lucky Charms box?! His existence excludes the non-Irish as well as women.

“He does seem pretty gay, at least,” she mused.

Irvine and a group of concerned parents from across Atlantic Canada have banded together to stop eating these cereals, and to discourage others from purchasing them as well.

“We’ve even started a petition to have these offensive cereal boxes pulled from shelves — they simply do not represent who we are, as people, in 2018,” said Haligonian Tara Donnelly. “If you continue to support this company, you’re part of the problem.”

Dean Quinn of Dartmouth signed the petition right away. “I always wondered why Baron von Redberry still has to be a man, in this day and age,” he said of the cereal that was discontinued years ago. “And I did a little research on Cocoa Puffs, too, and the mascot ‘Sonny the Cuckoo Bird’ was voiced by not one, but TWO different men in their TV commercials over the years. I mean, come on! Are there no female voice actors out there? I consider myself a feminist ally and it just didn’t sit right to keep scarfing down this patriarchal brand.”

Quinn added that female athletes on Wheaties boxes have been few and far between. “I mean there was aviator Elinor Smith in 1934…hmm…swimmer Esther Williams in 1959…a few others whose names escape me at the moment…and I guess Bruce Jenner was there more than once, so I’ll give them that.”

General Mills Canada CEO Jeffery LeBlanc has said that, as a producer of cereal, gender parity was never a goal for the company.

“Jesus H. — when will it end?” he sighed. “Are you gonna go after Kellogg’s for ‘Tucan Sam’ or ‘Tony the Tiger’? How about Post for ‘Sugar Bear’? When will the responsibility to teach kids that all people are equal fall on the parents and not on corporations trying to sell you a friggin’ product?”

LeBlanc added that, as far as he knows, the Nesquik rabbit is asexual, Franken Berry is a scary amalgamation of all genders, and Count Chocula is black. “So as you can see, we haven’t completely forgotten that representation matters.

“And anyway, no one’s going to stop buying our products. It’s pure sugar, and that’s even more addictive than being politically correct.”


Share your thoughts. We reserve the right to remove comments.