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FactCheck: Did Kellogg's announce a transgender cereal mascot?

Is the Rice Krispie mascot “Pop” is now a trans woman?

A CEREAL MASCOT now identifies as a trans-woman according to social media ‘reshares’ of a CNN article. 

A screenshot of an article with CNN branding reports that Rice Krsipie manufacturer Kellogg’s announced that its mascot “Pop” indentifies as a trans woman. 

The article is dated 20 May 2022 and is cut off under the headline and photo, leaving no further information on the fates of other mascots “Snap” and “Crackle.”

The post prompted strong reactions on social media platforms with one tweet declaring “the woke mob strikes again” which was liked 56.2 thousand times. 

Screenshot 2022-05-30 at 14.40.13 Tweet dated 20 May 2022 with over 56,000 likes claiming Kellogg's announces trans mascot

Criticisms of ‘wokeness’ continued on Facebook with one post  telling 36,000 members of a conservative group; ‘Don’t feed your kids this crap.’ 

Comments on Facebook and a conservative TikTok page with over 120,000 followers repeated the adage ‘go woke, go broke’ – a phrase attributed to author John Ringo to describe consumers of a brand being alienated by the brand’s political stance, leading to a decline in business. 

But before the boycotts, real or threatened, begin – let’s take a look at the legitimacy of the story.

The Claim

Kellogg’s, the cereal company, has announced long standing mascot ‘Pop’ is a trans woman.  

The Evidence

The screenshot of the CNN article shows the authors as  Helen Regan and Andrew Raine – both legitimate CNN employees based in Hong Kong according to the broadcaster’s website. 

However no article concerning Kellogg’s and a trans mascot was found on CNN’s website.

The story was not picked up by other established media outlets which would be highly unusual when a multinational company of Kellogg’s size and brand recognition makes a significant change to their mascot. 

This is down to the fact that the company didn’t actually make the announcement in the first place according to a Kellogg’s spokesperson who spoke to The Journal.

“We have made no changes to the Rice Krispies mascots, Snap Crackle and Pop,” they confirmed in an email. 

A CNN spokesperson told Associated Press the headline, while mocked up to look like a legitimate online story, ‘was fabricated.’ 

False online content regarding the trans community has grown in recent years, particularly on right wing message boards and Facebook groups. 

Last week a trans woman was falsely accused of killing 19 children and two adults in the Uvalde, Texas school shooting.

Her photo, alongside two other trans women, started circulating on 4chan, Reddit and other platforms almost instantly after the shooting as ‘proof’ a trans person was responsible for the crime 

Conservative Arizona Congressman Rep Paul Gosar then called the shooter a ‘transexual leftist illegal alien’ in a since deleted tweet

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 The actual perpetrator Salvador Ramos was an 18-year-old cis man born in the United States

In 2019 NBC debunked a viral story linking hormone blockers used in trans healthcare to ‘thousands’ of deaths.

In reality, the blockers are used by terminally ill patients ‘to fight hormone-sensitive cancers’ which accounts for the deaths associated with the medication. 

Verdict

Kellogg’s did not announce that long standing mascot “Pop” of “Snap, Crackle and Pop” fame now identifies as a trans woman.

The story was mocked up to look like a CNN headline.

The broadcaster did not publish the story. 

We are calling this claim ‘Snap, crackle and NOT’ true and give it a rating of: FALSE. 

The Journal’s FactCheck is a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles. You can read it here. For information on how FactCheck works, what the verdicts mean, and how you can take part, check out our Reader’s Guide here. You can read about the team of editors and reporters who work on the factchecks here.

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