What will YOU do?!
Have you heard about Kraft’s new advertising campaign for its new MilkBites product? If not, let us explain. First, we know that some people don’t see the problem. They say that they are just commercials for candy bars and have no implications for the multiracial community or multiracial children. You might agree. We don’t. If you are an advocate for multiracial people and if you see this candy bar as a metaphor for a multiracial person, we urge you to sign the petition at:
So what’s the big deal? A woman named Michelle Parrinello-Carson viewed some of the Kraft commercials and was shocked and insulted at their use of their character named “Mel.” They say Mel has issues. Mel is a character who is clearly depicted as biracial and is conflicted over his identity. He is “part milk and part granola.” Subtle messages in the commercials show Mel’s preference to his “white” (milk) part over his “brown” (granola) side. Mel also says that “blonds are best.” Mel even asks his parents if they really thought it over when they made him. Mel is represented as having the “tragic mulatto syndrome.” Yes, a talking candy bar.
Michelle wrote the following (in part) to Kraft:
“I am appalled that a company (especially one of your size and influence) would stoop to racism and the perpetuation of racial tropes in a way that seems completely unconnected from the product or any of its attributes. Perhaps this campaign was created specifically to create controversy, thus getting more people to know about it, but whatever the (ill-formed) motivation, I am writing to let you know that I will not be purchasing any of your products until this campaign is removed and an apology is issued. This is an insult and a socially irresponsible message.”
In return, Kraft sent Michelle an insulting form letter, thanking her for visiting their website.
View some of the commercials for yourself at::
If you feel as we do that Kraft is sending the wrong message and that it is insulting to the multiracial community, please sign Michelle’s petition. You can also complain to Kraft at this page on their website (but don’t expect more than a form letter response):
Project RACE commends Michelle Parrinello-Carson for her actions and joins in her appeals against Kraft. She has seen the problem and shown how one person can make a difference by pointing out that yes, we get it—and we don’t like it—that a company like Kraft is using a talking candy bar can be a metaphor for a biracial person with identity issues. No matter how cute they make it, the message is a bad one.