Metro Weekly

Right Wingers Claim Pop Tarts are “Sexualizing” Children

Stephen Miller's America First Legal Foundation objects to Kellogg's using pro-LGBTQ campaigns to promote its iconic products.

NEON Pink Block Party Lemonade Pop Tarts – Photo courtesy of Pop Tarts/GLAAD

America First Legal Foundation has accused breakfast food giant Kellogg’s of attempting to “politicize” and “sexualize” its products by promoting them with LGBTQ-inclusive and rainbow-themed campaigns.

In a letter to Kellogg’s CEO Steve Cahillane, Reed Rubinstein, an attorney for the conservative advocacy group, founded by former Trump White House adviser Stephen Miller, claimed that company management has “hijacked the brand to advance an extreme political and social agenda.”

Rubeinstein wrote, “Despite the immense trust that hard-working American mothers and fathers have placed in Kellogg’s, management has discarded the Company’s long-held family-friendly marketing approach to politicize and sexualize its products.”

One example of this “sexualization,” according to America First, is NEON Pink Block Party Lemonade Pop-Tarts, which were flagged for their bright pink-colored filling and frosting designs from queer illustrator Thaddeus Coates, as well as the fact that the product came about through a collaboration with NEON, a collective of artists and creators aimed at increasing the visibility of Black LGBTQ people launched by GLAAD.

Rubinstein objects to GLAAD because it allegedly “opposes parental rights to know about transgender ‘transitions’ in public schools, and promotes censorship and cancel culture.”

America First has also cited several other LGBTQ-themed or rainbow-colored products promoted by Kellogg’s in recent years.

These include a “Together with Pride” cereal featuring the Frosted Mini Wheats mascot holding a Pride flag; an “All Together” cereal-flavored lip balm; a Cheez-It box featuring the face of celebrity drag queen RuPaul; and a picture of the iconic Frosted Flakes mascot, Tony the Tiger, posing with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney in June.

“Kellogg’s brands have significant value; they are rightly termed ‘iconic.’ Management acknowledges that these brands require careful ‘promoti[on] and protecti[on]’ and a calculated ability to ‘reach consumers at the right time with the right message,'” the letter reads. “Yet management has failed to properly warn investors of the risks associated with the apparent misalignment of management’s political and social values with Kellogg’s customers’ values or taken steps to mitigate them.

“Kellogg’s officers and directors are free to spend their own money on whatever social or political cause they deem fit. However, this freedom does not extend to spending the Company’s funds, brand equity, goodwill, and other assets on their extreme, idiosyncratic leftist activism.”

The America First Legal Foundation focuses on the photo of Tony the Tiger with Mulvaney at the 2023 Tony Awards — despite no actual partnership between Mulvaney and Frosted Flakes or Kellogg’s. Nonetheless, the legal organization asserts that “management knew or should have known that Mulvaney’s association with Bud Light had cost InBev shareholders billions of dollars and that there was a strong likelihood that using him (sic) as an avatar for Kellogg’s would drive away many of the Company’s core customers and significantly damage the brand.”

As evidence of Kellogg’s embrace of so-called “wokeness” that could hurt the company’s brand and public reputation, as well as its market value, America First cites posts on social media from those purporting to be consumers of Kellogg’s products who called for a boycott or claimed they were swearing off Kellogg’s products.

The group also likened its objections over Kellogg’s to other companies that conservatives have sought to boycott due to their embrace of pro-LGBTQ or Pride-themed messaging or products. 

“Kellogg’s is yet another big corporation that will break the law and hurt its shareholders’ interests to serve the twisted woke ideology of its officers and directors; like Disney, Budweiser, and Target, Kellogg’s management has shown nothing but contempt and disdain for American families and American workers,” the group wrote on the platform formerly known as Twitter.

America First also wrote a letter to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging that Kellogg’s “engages in unlawful employment practices by seeking to ‘balance’ its workforce based on race, color, national origin, and sex.”

By highlighting diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives designed to recruit employees from underrepresented groups, such as communities of color or women, America First claims Kellogg’s is engaging in illegal, race-based discrimination against white men, reports The New Republic. 

America First also recently sued Target on behalf of an investor who claimed the company “misrepresented the adequacy of its risk monitoring” when it faced backlash over offering LGBTQ-themed products in its stores, reports Reuters.

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